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NFL notebook: NFLPA wants Goodell to testify

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The NFL Players Association, which filed an appeal of the league’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for his role in Deflategate, plans to call NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as a witness in the hearing.

The NFLPA released the letter Friday that general counsel Tom DePaso sent to NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent on Thursday.

DePaso informed Vincent in the letter that the NFLPA plans to call both Vincent and Goodell to testify in the appeal hearing regarding “the circumstances surrounding the purported delegation of disciplinary authority.”

The league confirmed Thursday night that Goodell has elected to preside over the appeal of Brady’s suspension, rejecting the NFLPA’s request that an independent arbitrator hear the case.

Goodell is “very unlikely” to recuse himself from presiding over the appeal, ESPN’s Ed Werder reported Friday, based on a source.

The Patriots have not indicated whether they plan to appeal a $1 million fine and the loss of a first-round draft pick next year and a fourth-rounder in 2017, although they issued an online rebuttal to the Wells report on Thursday.

The Patriots have until May 21 to file an appeal of their penalties.

–Tennessee Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger isn’t going to give up the starting job to Marcus Mariota — selected second overall in the 2015 NFL Draft — without a fight.

“I don’t (know) what the mind-set is, but at the end of the day I can just control what I do and I’m extremely confident in myself, almost to a fault,” Mettenberger told ESPN. “But people who know me know I’m not going down without a fight to the death.”

–The Titans got their first look at Mariota on the practice field Friday when the team kicked off its rookie minicamp.

“It went well,” Mariota said after practice. “I think the intensity was there. … It was really exciting. For all of us here, the last few months have been a long process. It was good to get back to football.”

Mariota, wearing a red No.8 uniform, went through a stretching period and then worked in individual drills with other members of the rookie class, according to The Tennessean.

–Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell accepts the three-game suspension handed down last month by the NFL after he was charged last year with marijuana possession and driving under the influence.

Bell said in an interview with ESPN on Thursday that he made a mistake and would deal with any other punishment the league hands him.

–The Chicago Bears hired Joe Douglas as director of college scouting, Anthony “Champ” Kelly as director of pro scouting and Christopher Prescott as an area scout, the team announced.

New Bears general manager Ryan Pace continues to finalize his revamped front office after finishing up his first NFL Draft.

–The Cleveland Browns announced they signed two first-round draft picks — nose tackle Danny Shelton, the No. 12 overall pick, and offensive lineman Cameron Erving, the No. 19 overall selection.

Both signed four-year deals.

–The Seattle Seahawks waived injured defensive end Tory Slater and signed defensive tackle T.Y. McGill.

McGill was offered a contract after participating in the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp last weekend on a tryout basis.

–Third-round pick wide receiver Sammie Coates signed a four-year rookie contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The deal is worth $3 million with a $632,000 guaranteed signing bonus, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.

–The Jacksonville Jaguars signed sixth-round pick defensive tackle Michael Bennett to a rookie contract.

–The Oakland Raiders signed fourth-round draft pick Jon Feliciano and sixth-round selection Max Valles.

Feliciano, an offensive lineman, became the fifth of the Raiders’ 10 picks from the 2015 NFL Draft to sign a rookie contract, joining defensive end Valles, wide receiver Amari Cooper, offensive tackle Anthony Morris and wide receiver Andre Debose.


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