NFL Wire News

NFL notebook: Raiders great Stabler dies at 69


The Sports Xchange

Ken Stabler, a four-time Pro Bowl quarterback who led the Oakland Raiders to victory in Super Bowl XI, died Wednesday at age 69.

After conflicting reports of his death, his family posted an announcement on his Facebook page on Thursday: “We announce with great sadness that our father, Ken Stabler, passed away Wednesday, July 8, as a result of complications associated with colon cancer.”

His family said he had been battling Stage 4 colon cancer since being diagnosed in February. WPMI-TV in Mobile, Ala., reported that Stabler died in Gulfport, Miss.

“The Raiders are deeply saddened by the passing of the great Ken Stabler,” owner Mark Davis said in a statement. “He was a cherished member of the Raider family and personified what it means to be a Raider. He wore the Silver and Black with Pride and Poise and will continue to live in the hearts of Raider fans everywhere. Our sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to Kenny’s family.”

—The St. Louis Rams invested a 2016 fifth-round pick in former Clemson left tackle Isaiah Battle, making him the first player selected in the NFL’s supplemental draft since 2012.

Battle was one of seven players ruled eligible by the NFL but the only one selected.

“We felt it was an opportunity to get an earlier-round value for a later-round price,” general manager Les Snead said. “He’s going to practice what would’ve been his final year of college eligibility with us, go through our offseason program, and then start his rookie season a year from now. This will allow us to bring him along gradually both on and off the field. Now it’s up to Isaiah and us to go work to reach his potential as a person and player.”

—Ray McDonald, a former defensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears, was charged with felony false imprisonment and three misdemeanors — the result of a May 25 incident involving his ex-fiancee and her baby.

McDonald also was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, child endangerment and violating a court order that he stay away from the alleged victim, according to the San Francisco Chronicle and other reports from the Bay Area. McDonald was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Santa Clara County (Calif.) Superior Court. If convicted, he could be sentenced to as many as three years in prison.

McDonald, 30, was arrested May 25 after allegedly breaking through a bedroom door to get to his ex-fiancee and their daughter. He was arrested again two days later for violating an emergency protective order. McDonald also had been arrested Aug. 31 in another incident involving the woman.

—The Rose Bowl stadium operations team unanimously voted to block any short-term rental by NFL teams looking to relocate to Los Angeles in 2016.

Los Angeles Coliseum, Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium of Anaheim are considered viable options for teams who could play in Los Angeles next season if their own markets fail to produce viable stadium options.

The candidates include the St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers. All three franchises are seeking stadium solutions in their current home markets.

—A final chapter in the seven-month Deflategate saga could be coming as early as next week.

Commissioner Roger Goodell told CNBC on Thursday from a tech conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, where Patriots owner Robert Kraft was also present, a decision “is coming soon” and possibly next week.

Brady appealed a four-game suspension on June 23 at NFL headquarters in New York.

—John Sawyer, a former Cincinnati Bengals president and part owner, died Thursday in Cincinnati. He was 90.

Sawyer served as team president from its inception in 1968 until 1993 and had been a vice president since 1994. He accompanied Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown and son Mike Brown during the city’s bid for its original American Football League franchise in 1967.

Sawyer also was a part owner of the Cincinnati Reds and was instrumental in the building of Riverfront Stadium, which opened in 1970 and played host to the Bengals and Reds for more than 30 years.

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