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NFL notebook: Trump calls treatment of Brady ‘ridiculous’

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The Sports Xchange

Tom Brady has the backing of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as the New England Patriots quarterback and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell fight it out in court in the Deflategate scandal.

Trump, a billionaire businessman, said on FOX Business Network that he and Brady are close and Goodell is wrong to suspend Brady four games.

“I think it’s ridiculous the way they’ve treated him,” Trump said Thursday of Brady. “He’s a friend of mine, he’s a great friend of mine, he’s a great guy, and I think it’s ridiculous the way they’ve treated him. To spend $10 million in legal fees, and now it’s probably higher than that, it’s crazy. He’s a great star. They ought to go back to playing football. This country has bigger problems.”

Brady was suspended four regular-season games for his alleged knowledge of the intentional reduction of football air pressure in the AFC Championship game in January. He also was uncooperative in the opinion of the NFL and Goodell during investigator Ted Wells’ search for details. Goodell said in his decision to uphold the four-game suspension after hearing Brady’s appeal on June 23 that Brady intentionally destroyed a cell phone on or shortly after being asked for access to the device. Goodell upheld the suspension on July 29, prompting Brady to file suit in federal court.

Brady and Goodell were ordered back to U.S. District Court in New York on Aug. 31 by Judge Richard M. Berman if no settlement is reached before that date.

—Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus would sign the franchise tag contract next year if he doesn’t get a long-term agreement.

Dareus softened his comments Saturday after earlier expressing displeasure about the Bills’ latest contract offer.

“I’m not necessarily looking at Suh numbers,” Dareus told reporters after practice in Pittsford, N.Y., on Saturday, referring to Ndamukong Suh’s $114 million contract with the Miami Dolphins. “I just want to be treated right, just like every one of us.”

Dareus told the Buffalo News after the Bills’ preseason win Thursday night in Cleveland that the team was “making it hard” in negotiations “and it’s just really making me unhappy. I feel like they don’t really want me here.”

The 25-year-old Dareus enters the final year of his rookie contract and was offered a six-year extension worth more than $90 million, according to the Buffalo News. Dareus will earn $8.06 million this season.

The two-time Pro Bowler and the third overall selection in the 2011 draft said he would sign the franchise tag next year if needed.

“If that’s something they consider, there’s not really much I could do,” Dareus said Saturday. “I’ll sign the papers.”

—Buffalo coach Rex Ryan said Saturday there is a “high possibility” of keeping the Bills’ top three quarterbacks — Matt Cassel, Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel — on the roster for the season.

After starting Cassel in the preseason opener last week and Taylor on Thursday night, Ryan said he hasn’t discussed his starter for the third preseason game with his coaches.

Cassel sat out Thursday’s game because the Bills wanted to give Taylor and Manuel extended time. Taylor went 7-for-10 passing for 65 yards and Manuel completed 9 of 14 passes for 111 yards and one touchdown,

“We haven’t decided yet who’s starting at QB next week,” Ryan said of next Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. “We’ll rotate all three in this week.”

—New York Jets wide receiver Jeremy Kerley and two teammates suffered concussions in Friday night’s preseason game.

Jets coach Todd Bowles announced the news after the 30-22 preseason win over the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium.

Running back Daryl Richardson and safety Durell Eskridge also left the game with concussions.

Kerley, who suffered a concussion with the Jets in 2013, had two catches for 38 yards against the Falcons. He is competing to be the Jets’ No. 3 receiver behind Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.

Jets wide receiver Shaquelle Evans suffered a sprained back in the game, while offensive tackle Ben Ijalana had a knee injury and defensive back Dashaun Phillips a rib injury.

—Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys isn’t too concerned about star wide receiver Dez Bryant getting into fights in training camp.

Bryant’s passion has been a topic of discussion since his fight with cornerback Tyler Patmon earlier in camp and again during Tuesday’s joint practice with the St. Louis Rams.

“Let’s just look at our experience with Dez, mine with him here for five years, going on six,” Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan. “Look at all of us. We know that when he lights up, it’s like a sparkler lighting up on the other end of the deal. It just sparkles.

“If it’s anything, it not only creates some excitement, it creates tension. You think he’s absolutely a candle burning at both ends. He’s just going to blow up. And, of course, that’s Dez. It’s that personality right there.”

Bryant, who has been dealing with a strained hamstring, is not expected to return until after Sunday’s preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Cowboys have talked to Bryant about saving some of his energy, but they also know he is a fiery competitor who will always be passionate on the playing field.

—The Washington Redskins officially placed special teams captain and backup linebacker Adam Hayward on the reserve/injured list.

Hayward suffered a season-ending knee injury in the second quarter of Thursday night’s 21-17 win over the Detroit Lions. Hayward had a tear of the ACL in his right knee, MRI results showed.

Hayward’s 2014 season was cut short with a season-ending leg injury in Week 12.

—The Minnesota Vikings signed a purchase agreement for a 185-acre site in Eagan, Minn., and will evaluate the property as a potential location for the team’s future headquarters and training facility.

The team announced the agreement Friday for the former Northwest Airlines headquarters property. The Vikings have been looking to move from their 12 acres in Eden Prairie because of a need for more outdoor playing fields and office space.

“As we have previously discussed, the existing Winter Park training facility poses space and flexibility challenges for the Vikings as we continue to grow and evolve,” Vikings chief operating officer Kevin Warren said in a statement. “While we are evaluating a variety of options to accommodate the long-term needs of our football team and the organization at-large, this property is intriguing for several reasons. Not only does this location have tremendous space and flexibility for future growth, but it also offers proximity to both Minneapolis and St. Paul downtowns, as well as the airport.

“With this agreement in place, we now have an opportunity to perform a thorough evaluation of the site. We continue to appreciate our strong relationship with the community of Eden Prairie and the positive environment the city’s leadership has created over the past 30-plus years.”


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