Browns LB Fujita meets with Goodell (Yahoo! Sports)

28 Sep

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) carries the ball past Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Scott Fujita into the end zone for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game in Baltimore, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for about one hour Friday about his suspension in the Saints' bounty case that was temporarily lifted earlier this month.

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Browns LB Fujita to meet with Goodell (Yahoo! Sports)

27 Sep
NEW YORK (AP) -- Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita is scheduled to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday about his suspension in the Saints' bounty case that was temporarily lifted earlier this month.
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BEREA, Ohio (AP) -- Browns linebacker Scott Fujita says he plans to reschedule his postponed meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about the Saints bounty scandal.
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AP source: Goodell to meet Monday with Vilma (Yahoo! Sports)

13 Sep

New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith (91) shakes hands with linebacker Jonathan Vilma in the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. The Saints won 40-32. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

NEW YORK (AP) -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will meet Monday with Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma to discuss Vilma's suspension that was temporarily lifted last week.

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Rapid React: Goodell goes soft, Britt nets one-game suspension

30 Aug
by in General

For weeks the fantasy community has completely blown off Kenny Britt, even at his discounted fringe top-100 ADP (88.4 ADP, WR35). Late-night drunken escapades, run-ins with Tasers and eight different jail sessions were expected to land him at least a multi-game suspension.

But Roger Goodell, instead of making an example out of the police magnet, showed his kinder, gentler side, levying just a one-game suspension according to The Tennessean.

Britt must have gifted "The Warden" a Whitman's Sampler.

This is obviously fantastic news for inexperienced starter Jake Locker. The second-year passer out of Washington should have his premier playmaker back on the field and potentially operating at full speed in short order. Britt, coming off a third knee procedure in late June, is still not operating at 100 percent, but has made major strides in recent days. He was activated off the PUP list on Tuesday.

Prior to the suspension news, offensive coordinator Chris Palmer indicated Wednesday, Britt would've played roughly 10-15 snaps in the opener versus New England if available. Of course, that won't happen, but expectations within the Titans organization are the wideout will be ready to play a normal complement of snaps by Week 5. In the meantime, Kendall Wright will fill the void. The versatile, explosive rookie possesses Shocker Special potential in what should be a shootout with the Pats Week 1.

For those drafting this weekend, Britt needs to be moved up a tier or three on cheat sheets. When healthy, he's one of the league's finest downfield playmakers. Recall prior to shredding his ACL in Week 3 last year, he was on pace for a monster breakout. Considering Locker's cannon arm, it would be no surprise if he finished inside the WR top-15 once healed. He deserves consideration alongside Torrey Smith, Jeremy Maclin and Dwayne Bowe in the 50-60 overall pick range. Then again, it is a holiday weekend. That ninth arrest could be just around the corner.

Hey, Britt happens.

Can't get enough Andy Behrens, Brandon Funston, Scott Pianowski, Dalton Del Don and "The Noise?" Listen to The Fantasy Freak Show (Now on iTunes) every Friday at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Yahoo! Sports Radio

Tags: , Chris Palmer, , , jail, , , , Rapid, , ,
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Saints owner Benson meets with Goodell in NY (Yahoo! Sports)

14 Aug
METAIRIE, La. (AP) -- New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson met Tuesday with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in New York to discuss matters concerning both the team and the league.
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Judge issues strong opinions in Vilma suspension process, but waits to rule

10 Aug

When the NFL put either a settlement offer or a settlement discussion (depending on who you believe) across the table to Jonathan Vilma earlier this week, it was the first sign of real weakness in the league's case against Vilma and the three other suspended players in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal. The timing of those settlement discussions was not an accident. The NFL seemed to want to get something hammered out to avoid what happened on Friday morning in New Orleans.

That's when U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan heard arguments from Vilma's side and the NFL's in the league's motion to have Vilma's defamation lawsuit against NFL commissioner dismissed. Any appeal of the lawsuit, which also seeks to have Vilma's season-long suspension overturned, would open several cans of legal worms for the NFL, and put the suspension process on trial in front of an outside authority for the first time.

From the start, Judge Berrigan sided with Vilma and noted that the steps taken by the NFL when gathering, processing and using its information to mete out justice were specious at best. When Peter Ginsberg, Vilma's attorney, said that Vilma was suspended for cart-off hits, and there was no specific proof of Vilma's involvement, Judge Berrigan responded thusly: "I would like to rule in Vilma's favor. I do think you [Vilma] exhausted your remedies."

Ginsberg and NFLPA lawyer Jeffrey Kessler (who represented suspended players Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove) argued against the NFL's claim that Goodell was eager to hear from the players in an appeal process that had them going straight back to the commissioner. In effect, they said, the players could have lost any jurisdictional rights to further appeals processes. Eventually, the players took their case to longtime league arbiter Stephen Burbank, who is still weighing testimony from the hearing that was the step after the Goodell appeal process.

However, from all accounts, Berrigan made it clear that she thought Goodell acted beyond his authority. At one point, according to legal expert Gabe Feldman (whose Twitter timeline was particularly informative during the hearing), she said that she believed the process was unfair, the punishment excessive and that Goodell did not have power to discipline in these cases.

Judge Berrigan then dropped the hammer: "If I can find a way to legally do it, I will rule in Vilma's favor."

To the matter of the injunctive relief Vilma seeks in the suit, Judge Berrigan said that she believed Vilma had suffered the irreparable harm needed for such relief to be given. That was a major blow to the NFL's case. The concept of "irreparable harm" goes a long way in a court of law, and it's very tough to put that genie back in the bottle.

However, Judge Berrigan also said that she will weigh whether she has the jurisdiction to rule on anything before the Burbank ruling is made. Kessler argued strenuously that she did have that authority, at one point suggesting that the judge "was not a potted plant," which I'm sure she appreciated.

When the NFL had its time before Judge Berrigan, attorney Gregg Levy argued that Goodell was well within his rights per the collective bargaining agreement, and that she would have to defer to Burbank and Goodell before making a ruling of her own. Levy also said that the CBA required Goodell to declare the guilt of a player before the appeal process begins. Judge Berrigan stuck a fork in that argument, saying that she believed the players exhausted their appeal options before Goodell . She also brought up the potential loss of jurisdictional power.

Levy then went to Goodell's old line -- that the CBA pre-empted any judge's ruling, and that the whole point of the CBA was to keep the NFL out of court. Judge Berrigan asked Levy if the "conduct detrimental" ruling made in the suspensions overrode any other CBA provisions. When Levy told her that it wasn't her decision to make, Judge Berrigan responded by saying, "You're making me feel powerless."

Again, not a very good idea. Kessler and Ginsberg closed by bringing up the fact that no specific evidence against the players has ever been made public, and Ginsberg pleaded for a quick decision in the name of fairness to his client.

While Judge Berrigan did say that she came to some preliminary conclusions, she also said that she would not rule at this time, brought the timing of the Burbank ruling up, and urged both parties to settle. Whether Vilma's side heard enough to tell the NFL what it could do with any settlement offer, and whether the NFL saw enough dings in its case to put a better offer on the table, is the next big thing in a case that could drag on into the NFL's regular season.

"The only thing better would have been a decision," Vilma said outside the courthouse. "I came here with no expectations. I'm glad she could see through some of the B.S. I'm cool with that until we get a decision. Patience is my best friend."

Tags: District Judge Ginger Berrigan, , , Judge Berrigan, , Vilma
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Kenny Britt will meet with Goodell on Monday – Kenny Britt | TEN

05 Aug
Kenny Britt will meet with commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday to discuss the outcome of his off-the-field issues.
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Brees’ call for dialogue and understanding puts Goodell on the spot

01 Aug

It's certainly understandable that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees would be upset, and publicly so, about the NFL disciplinary process that will cost him his head coach, interim head coach, general manager, and two defensive teammates through all or part of the 2012 season. Brees has long been an advocate of fairness and transparency in the dialogue between the owners and players -- he was specifically out front during the 2011 lockout -- and the fact that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has still presented to specific evidence that ties any of four current and former suspended Saints players has Brees on edge.

Before and after he signed his recent five-year, $100 million contract extension, Brees has been open and honest about his problems with the process by which the league laid down discipline in the wake of the bounty scandal. And when's Peter King made it down to Saints training camp last week, Brees really let it fly. King asked him what players thought of Goodell in general as the ultimate ambassador of the sport, and Brees started off by expressing dismay at the way head coach Sean Payton's season-long suspension was handled.

"I was utterly shocked. Shocked. And the way the suspension works -- it's like, You're cut off right now. We [the NFL] are going to tell you who you can and cannot talk to over the next year.  That is completely ridiculous."

Brees then went on to say what he had heard from multiple NFL players regarding their feelings for the Commish, expressing a divide between talent and administration that is not good for any organization, no matter what the profession may be.

"Nobody trusts him. Nobody trusts him. I'm not talking about a DUI, or using a gun in a strip club, which are pretty clear violations. I think there're too many times where the league has come to its decision in a case before calling a guy in, and the interview is just a façade. I think now if a guy has to come in to talk to Roger, he'll be very hesitant because he'll think the conclusion has already been reached."

With a few days to let that bomb marinate in the minds of the football-loving public, Brees had time to cool off on his own. Maybe it was that he was finally throwing passes for real in a training camp situation, but when he spoke to SIRIUS NFL Radio on Wednesday, Brees tried to strike a more conciliatory tone.

"Just to clarify, I know that the headline statement was 'Brees Bashes Goodell,' but that's not the case. I was asked the question, how do players -- consensus -- feel about Roger Goodell? I Paused, and I thought about it, and from my conversations with a lot of players -- not just my locker room -- have been, it's that players don't trust Roger Goodell. Now, that was not disrespectful. I was asked a direct question, and I gave a very honest and direct answer. I have been asked this question to clarify a lot lately. The fact of the matter is, I have a lot of respect for Roger Goodell. I've had a lot of positive dealings with him over the last few years. I think Roger Goodell has done a lot of great things as Commissioner.

"I just feel that in regard to this process, and this investigation, I don't feel that it was done fairly. And I feel that they got this one wrong. I have no problem saying that. I would also say that we're in a position where we can still make this right. I believe whole-heartedly that [between] the league, and Commissioner Goodell, and our team, and the union, we can all come together and re-evaluate, if you want to call it that. We can do this together, and we can make this right.

"In the end, all any of us want is just the truth, based on the facts and based upon the evidence. But let's make it a fair and transparent process. I just know that right now, we have the opportunity to make it right. I have confidence in everyone, including Commissioner Goodell, that it can be done."

The turnabout is intelligent in that Brees' voice is no longer angry and unreasonable. By throwing the burden of reason back on Goodell and the league, he has challenged Goodell to stop with the backroom politics and implied violations against league policy, and turn things around. Just as Goodell has an obligation to maintain order for the good of the league, he also has a responsibility to do so in ways that don't bring the integrity of his processes into question.

In effect, Drew Brees has given Roger Goodell an opening he hasn't had before. We'll just see what Goodell does with it.

Tags: Brees, , evidence, , , New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, , nobody, ,
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