Thursday’s roundup: Union offers settlement on Brady
Officials from the NFL Players Association proposed a settlement on Tom Brady’s four-game suspension last week that was “met with silence” by NFL officials, a person familiar with the proposal said.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the offer was confidential.
There is no timetable on when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will rule on the New England quarterback’s appeal.
Several media reports indicated the union’s proposal called for Brady paying a large fine, but with no suspension.
The Patriots paid a record $1 million fine and were stripped of two draft picks, including a No. 1 selection next year. Team owner Robert Kraft accepted those punishments while stating he believed the Patriots had done nothing wrong.
Brady was suspended for his role in using underinflated footballs during a 45-7 victory over the Colts in the AFC Championship. A league-sanctioned independent report by attorney Ted Wells found Brady at the least was “generally aware” of the use of the footballs in what has become known as Deflategate.
Brady adamantly denied any involvement.
Should Goodell uphold the four-game suspension — or even reduce it — Brady is expected to go to court.
Union officials asked Goodell to recuse himself as the appeal hearing officer, but the commissioner refused, citing his responsibility to protect the integrity of the game.
“There is no timeline,” Goodell said last week at a fundraiser. “We want to make sure we have a fair and open process.”
“We are focused on it. We are obviously being very thorough and want to make sure we consider all aspects of his appeal. We will make a decision as quickly as possible.”
The Patriots report to training camp Wednesday and begin practicing Thursday. Brady is not barred from participating in team activities until the exhibition season ends.
Should Goodell maintain any suspension, whether four games or less, and Brady takes the matter to court, it’s possible the case could drag deep into the regular season. During that time, should Brady obtain an injunction, he likely would be able to play until a court decision is made.
Tomlin signs extension
The Steelers and coach Mike Tomlin have agreed to an extension that will keep him with the team through the 2018 season.
Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Tomlin is 82-46 with Pittsburgh since replacing Bill Cowher following the 2006 season. The Steelers have won one Super Bowl and appeared in another under Tomlin, and are coming off an 11-5 season that included an AFC North title.
Steelers president Art Rooney II called Tomlin “one of the top coaches” in the NFL. Tomlin calls his time with the Steelers a “wonderful experience.”
The Steelers report for training camp Saturday and open their exhibition schedule in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio on Aug. 9.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he expects wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin will participate in all drills when the team opens training camp July 31.
Benjamin missed most of minicamp and OTAs with hamstring injuries in both legs. Rivera speculated at the time the injuries could be related to Benjamin being overweight.
... Brady ranked No. 1 in NFL jersey sales from March 1-May 31, according to a list released by NFL Players Inc.
Rounding out the top five: 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, followed by Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.
... Four southwest Florida police officers have been punished for February’s wrongful detainment of Raiders safety Nate Allen, in which he spent several hours in a holding cell.
Fort Myers police Chief Doug Baker said Thursday the arrest was isolated and not deliberate.
Allen, who lives in southwest Florida in the offseason, spent several hours in a holding cell in February after a 16-year-old girl said he performed a lewd act at a traffic light. Allen denied the accusation, saying he was on a cellphone call from the time he left a nearby restaurant until he was stopped. No charges were filed, and Allen was eventually released.
An internal investigation determined the officers violated state or agency policies and were assigned disciplinary actions.