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News from Yahoo.com and ClevelandBrowns.com
The NFL has rejected the NFL Players Association's request that commissioner Roger Goodell recuse himself as the arbitrator in Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension stemming from Deflategate. The NFLPA made the request on Tuesday, but ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Friday that it was rejected by the league. After the NFL owners' spring meetings in San Francisco on Wednesday, Goodell would not comment on the specifics of Brady's suspension or his appeal but said he looked forward to hearing from the New England Patriots quarterback.
It seems like our list of "Hard Knocks" candidates is down to three, and no, the Cleveland Browns aren't on the list. The Browns did not want to be on the HBO reality show that follows a team through training camp, because quarterback Johnny Manziel is returning from a stint in rehab and he doesn't need that kind of spotlight on him. That's fair. But ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi seemed to come up with our list of three candidates: Houston Texans, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football is back: Sign up for a league today! ] Grossi pointed out that those three teams were the willing participants, so that apparently isn't the official list of finalists (though, the Houston Chronicle confirmed that the Texans are one of three finalists). So perhaps we could get a surprise pick from one of the other forced candidates , based on the NFL's criteria: Cleveland, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings. Teams are exempt if they have a first-year head coach, have made the playoffs in either of the past two seasons or have appeared on the show in the previous 10 years. But it seems unlikely any of the teams that aren't exempt but haven't volunteered would be picked because the producers want to feature a team that actually wants to be on the show. So let's rank the three teams that appear to be the real candidates: 3. Houston Texans It's a strong field if the Texans are third. We'd get to see Arian Foster's wit, J.J. Watt's mega personality ( "Sno-Caps, perhaps?" ) and the seemingly always irritated ways of coach Bill O'Brien. There would also be a quarterback controversy, Jadeveon Clowney trying to return from knee surgery, DeAndre Hopkins announcing himself to a bigger audience ... a lot to like here. But as a whole, there's just a little more to like with the other two. 2. Buffalo Bills I mean, it's Rex Ryan. Come on, that's enough. Not like anyone wasn't entertained when the Jets were on "Hard Knocks." There's also a quarterback controversy here, LeSean McCoy with a new team, future star Sammy Watkins and a peek inside pass rusher Mario Williams' world. And, again, Rex. It would not be bad. Yet ... 1. Washington Redskins We all want a peek behind this curtain, right? Forget DeSean Jackson, the much-discussed Jay Gruden-Robert Griffin III relationship and Griffin himself. Those are all interesting story lines. But a chance for expanded access to Daniel Snyder's kingdom? This is widely considered the most dysfunctional NFL team, even by many of its own fans. A lot of that comes from Snyder, the owner who seems to have the thinnest skin in the entire league. How would an owner who has spent so much time and effort trying to manipulate the media in Washington (another less complicated way to get positive media coverage: actually winning games) react to NFL Films having so much access? What would we get to see? Would we get an honest look at Snyder? Even if it turns into the Griffin Show, that's still not too bad. Sign us up for Washington on HBO this summer. - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab
The New York Jets' quarterback competition appears over before it even got started. It's Geno Smith's job - and offensive coordinator Chan Gailey expects it to be that way heading into the season opener in September. ''Right now, Geno's the starter,'' Gailey said Wednesday.
Nick Mensio keeps track of every offseason transaction for all 32 teams.
The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders have hired former San Francisco 49ers President Carmen Policy to spearhead the next stages in their push to build a joint $1.7 billion stadium in the Los Angeles area. Policy is expected to speak to NFL owners about the Carson stadium project at their meetings this week in San Francisco, the city where he led the front office of the 49ers in their championship heyday in the 1980s and 1990s.
A school that uses a live tiger cub as a mascot has been warned it must submit more documentation to continue that tradition without violating Ohio's law on dangerous animals. The booster club that provides tigers for Massillon Washington High School is among more than a dozen animal owners contacted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture in recent months over compliance concerns, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. It's not clear if or how that might affect the live-mascot tradition in Massillon, where football passion runs deep: Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals founder Paul Brown got his start as a high school coach in the northeast Ohio city, and each boy born there gets a football in his bassinet.
Marcus Mariota has started the process of getting used to being under center as an NFL quarterback, and the Tennessee Titans liked what they saw on the field. The Heisman Trophy winner and the No. 2 draft pick overall was happy to be back on the field during the first day of rookie minicamp on Friday. Coach Ken Whisenhunt has promised the Titans are incorporating some of the spread offense that Mariota ran at Oregon into his scheme to make the QB's transition as smooth as possible. ''It's just getting repetitions.'' After months of draft questions, workouts and waiting, the 6-foot-4, 222-pound quarterback was just happy being on a football field.
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