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NFL notebook: NFLPA appeals Brady’s suspension

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The NFL Players Association on Thursday filed an appeal of the NFL’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

“Given the NFL’s history of inconsistency and arbitrary decisions in disciplinary matters, it is only fair that a neutral arbitrator hear this appeal,” the NFLPA said. “If Ted Wells and the NFL believe, as their public comments stated, that the evidence in their report is ‘direct’ and ‘inculpatory,’ then they should be confident enough to present their case before someone who is truly independent.”

Brady was suspended for his role as the alleged ringleader of team equipment managers who intentionally lowered the air pressure in footballs. Brady did not fully cooperate with the NFL’s third-party investigation led by Wells, according to a 243-page report outlining the offenses.

In the public report issued April 29, investigators said it was “more probable than not” that Brady “was at least generally aware” that team employees were instructed to prepare the balls to his liking. They inflated the balls below the league minimum of 12.5 pounds per square inch.

— The Patriots issued their online rebuttal, wellsreportcontext.com, with detailed responses to the 243-page Wells Report, and it can be summed up thusly: We can explain everything.

In response to several of the evidentiary points raised by investigator Ted Wells in the Deflategate controversy, the Patriots’ legal team of Morgan, Lewis, Young and Associates said quarterback Tom Brady had the best intentions in mind when communication increased with equipment assistant John Jastremski in the days after the AFC Championship game and heightened scrutiny about the inflation process.

Another claim by the Patriots was that the “Deflator” nickname of equipment manager Jim McNally was a common reference to his attempt to lose weight.

“Deflate was a term they used to refer to losing weight,” the team said.

—Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin says he wants to play for the Atlanta Falcons next year.

Irvin, an Atlanta native who played for new Falcons coach Dan Quinn in Seattle, was in Atlanta for an NBA playoff game Wednesday night and told BlackSportsOnLine.com, “I’m going to be in Atlanta next season. I’m ready. Atlanta is where I want to be. Believe that.”

A report before the draft indicated the Falcons and Seahawks had talked about a trade, but Irvin remained a Seahawk at the conclusion of the draft. The Falcons drafted Clemson pass rusher Vic Beasley with the eighth overall pick.

Irvin was upset the Seahawks did not pick up his $7.75 million option for 2016 after the draft. He tweeted: “Faced way tougher adversity getting outta them streets coming up! That (expletive) is nothing! (Forget) that option!”

—Seattle running back Robert Turbin is expected to be ready for the start of the season after undergoing hip surgery.

The Seattle Times reported Turbin is on schedule for training camp.

Turbin and Christine Michael are the primary backups to Seahawks All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch. Turbin, 25, is entering the final season of his rookie contract.

—Only once in 11 NFL seasons did running back Steven Jackson make the postseason. That’s why the 31-year-old free agent wants another try in 2015.

“I don’t want to go to a team that is rebuilding and needs me to come on and teach guys how to be professional,” said Jackson, who was rumored to be under consideration in Dallas and Jacksonville in March. “I’ve done that. I’ve been more than vocal about wanting to help young guys, but at some point I have to be a little selfish. I want to be part of a winning team because when I do hang up my cleats, I can see a lot of people holding that over my head when a lot of it was out of my control.”

Jackson, 31, joined the Falcons in 2013 but averaged 3.5 yards per carry in 12 games and totaled 734 total yards. He had 707 yards on 190 carries in 15 games in 2014.

—DeMarco Murray left the Dallas Cowboys, but he didn’t take the league’s top rushing attack with him.

That’s owner Jerry Jones’ take on the matter, at least — all the key ingredients are back for the Cowboys to be as good, or even better, running the ball in 2015.

“We’re better,” Jones said at the Cowboys’ annual golf outing. “Murray certainly is in that thought, but what we’ve got a chance to do with our depth, what we’ve got a chance to do with the talent, the competition that we have, and I’m assuming that we can protect (quarterback Tony) Romo, which standing here last year, the concerns about his surgeries were more so than today. So if Romo can have the kind of year that he had last year, then our running game will benefit from that.”

—The Atlanta Falcons signed veteran offensive tackle Tyler Polumbus.

The 6-foot-8, 308-pound Polumbus started 42 of 47 games for the Washington Redskins the past four seasons before losing his starting spot last year.

Polumbus began his career with Denver as a college free agent and played in 31 games for the Broncos, then joined Seattle as a restricted free agent in 2010 and made seven starts in 20 games for the Seahawks.

—The Detroit Lions signed defensive end Corey Wootton to a one-year contract.

Wootton, a fourth-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears in 2010, played four years in Chicago and spent the 2014 season with the Minnesota Vikings.

Also on Thursday, the Lions announced the promotions of Lance Newmark to director of college scouting, Cedric Saunders to senior vice president of football operations and Scott McEwen to senior personnel executive.

—The Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers will practice against each other on Aug. 26 and 27 before their preseason game in Denver on Aug. 29.

This will mark the third time the Broncos have conducted joint practices with another team at Dove Valley. The Broncos hosted the Houston Texans last summer and the Dallas Cowboys in 2008.

The 49ers held joint practices with the Baltimore Ravens in 2014 and the Oakland Raiders in 2010.


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