2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Goodell satisfied Browns owner handling probe

By TOM WITHERS - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-01 19:19

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - The NFL is standing by Browns owner Jimmy Haslam.

With Haslam embroiled in a legal scandal involving his family-owned truck-stop business, Commissioner Roger Goodell expressed his confidence in Cleveland's owner and said the league has no plans to intervene or discipline him at this point.

Goodell visited Cleveland's training camp on Thursday to launch a program between the league and Pop Warner with USA Football's Heads Up Football Program. Following a clinic with young players, Goodell said he's satisfied with Haslam's handling of the federal investigation at Pilot Flying J, and said the league is proud to be associated with its newest owner.

``Jimmy Haslam is a man of great integrity,'' Goodell said. ``We're proud to have him as an owner in the NFL and think he's going to be a great owner for the Cleveland Browns and their fans. He's as disappointed as anybody in what happened at Pilot J and he's working hard to fix it and correct those issues, both from a structural standpoint and to make amends.''

Goodell added that the league has no plans to intervene at this time.

``I don't think it's a matter for us at this moment,'' Goodell said.

Haslam has been in the crosshairs of controversy since April 15, when the FBI and IRS raided Pilot Flying J's headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn., seizing documents and as part of a probe into wide-spread fraud at the company. Haslam has maintained he did not know about a program within his sales staff to cheat customers out of rebate and discount money. Seven employees have pleaded guilty to defrauding customers.

Goodell said Haslam assured him he knew nothing of the rebate scam.

``He's been very clear that he's had no knowledge of that and he's been clear publicly and clear with you all,'' Goodell said. ``He doesn't need any pushing. This company means a lot to him and he's obviously not happy about what has happened and he's determined to fix it. Jimmy is more disappointed than anybody.''

Pressed about what the league might do if Haslam were indicted, Goodell refused to presume anything.

``We're not going to play the hypothetical game,'' Goodell said. ``Right now he's addressing the issues. We're confident he's going to deal with it properly. You're dealing with a bunch of hypotheticals. We're not going there.''

Goodell said the league was thorough in its vetting of Haslam, who was a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers before buying the Browns.

``This was a surprise to him and to his senior-level management,'' Goodell said. ``From that standpoint, I don't think he was aware of it and I don't know any way we could have been aware of it. It was not disclosed to us.''

Goodell has a well-earned reputation as being a tough disciplinarian with players. He promised to be equally firm with any owner who breaks the law.

``We actually hold ownership to a higher standard and management,'' he said. ``I think we've proven that in what we've done. It's not just accused. As you know, in our policy, oftentimes we let the criminal process unfold because you need to do that to find out the real facts. Sometimes we don't have all the facts and we need to do that. What we look at is multiple offenders. As you know, that's a real focus for us.''

Haslam and Goodell were not seen together on the field as the Browns concluded their first week of camp. Goodell spent time visiting with Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, who has returned as an adviser with the team.

Earlier in the day, Goodell and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer conducted a football safety clinic for 500 moms of youth players in Columbus.

Although he was already in the league, Haslam underwent the same scrutiny as any owner, Goodell insisted.

``We go through the same process on any circumstance,'' Goodell said. ``When you're going through a controlling ownership position, that's a big step up so we don't just pass that off. We do the same vetting process. Obviously he knows people in the league after being an owner, so there were certain aspects of that which were easier. But we didn't short-circuit anything.''

Goodell is satisfied the investigation has not been a distraction to the Browns, who are undergoing another makeover with a new front office and coaching staff, However, Goodell did concede it's troubling one of the NFL's owners is part of federal probe.

``You never want to see this kind of thing happen, particularly to a partner in the league,'' Goodell said. ``Obviously his partners care a great deal about him and as a partner they want to see him getting off to a good start. This is not what anybody intended, not anybody anticipated. But he's a man that I think everyone truly respects in the NFL.''

Goodell said the Browns are in good hands with Haslam, whom he believes can restore the Browns to their former glory.

``Jimmy Haslam came into this with a mindset that he was going to do everything possible to get this franchise turned around in a positive direction and a team that this community will be proud of not just in any single year but consistently and to create a winner,'' Goodell said. ``And he's brought in great talent. He's brought in great people. He set the organization obviously in a different direction. I think that's all positive and good for the fans here and ultimately good for the NFL.''

NOTES: Browns coach Rob Chudzinski opened his post-practice news conference by commenting on the Indians' eight-game winning streak. ``Love it,'' he said. ... Browns WR Josh Gordon did some team drills after missing two days with tendinitis in his knee. ... Safety T.J. Ward sat out practice with a tight hamstring. ... WR David Nelson tweaked his knee while running a pass route and was kept out. He tore his ACL last season and had knee surgery in Buffalo. ... Browns DT Brian Sanford and rookie G Garrett Gilkey got into a fight during a one-on-one drill. ... Chudzinski said OLB Quentin Groves is ``having a great camp.'' Groves signed with Cleveland as a free agent this winter from Arizona.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Giovani BernardOct 31 11:12a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) is unlikely to play in Week 9.

Trent RichardsonOct 31 10:32a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is not on the injury report for Week 9, and should be able to play Monday, Nov. 3.

Rashad JenningsOct 31 10:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) is aiming to return for the Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Ronnie HillmanOct 31 09:12a

Updating previous reports, Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) is expected to have his normal workload in Week 9, despite his limited practice repetitions.

DeAngelo HallOct 31 08:52a

Washington Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall (Achilles') tore his Achilles' again at home and had surgery to repair it Thursday, Oct. 30.

Ron JohnsonOct 30 08:22p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (back), DE Michael Bennett (toe), C Stephen Schilling (knee), CB Tharold Simon (knee), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), LB Malcolm Smith (groin), DT Jordan Hill [ More ]

Patrick WillisOct 30 07:52p

San Francisco 49res CB Tramaine Brock (toe) and LB Patrick Willis (toe) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Jimmie Ward (quadriceps) and CB Chris Culliver (hamstring) practiced in full.

Chris MatthewsOct 30 07:42p

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed WR Chris Matthews and TE Brett Brackett to their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 30.

Scott WellsOct 30 07:42p

St. Louis Rams OG Rodger Saffold (shoulder), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), DT Aaron Donald (shoulder) and S Cody Davis (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Rodney McLeod [ More ]

Luke JoeckelOct 30 07:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars OT Luke Joeckel (concussion) has recovered nicely from the concussion he suffered in Week 8, and he could play in Week 9 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Joeckel [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

Arian FosterOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (knee) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Johnathan JosephOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans LBs Brian Cushing (knee), Brooks Reed (groin) and Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. RB Alfred Blue (ankle), LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), CB Johnathan [ More ]

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Justin TuckOct 30 06:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), CB Carlos Rogers (knee) and WR Kenbrell Thompkins (non-injury) did not [ More ]

Anthony CollinsOct 30 06:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Anthony Collins (foot) and LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring) and DE Michael Johnson (hand) were limited.

Brian RobisonOct 30 06:32p

Minnesota Vikings DT Shariff Floyd (ankle, knee), TE Chase Ford (foot), CB Jabari Price (hamstring), CB Josh Robinson (ankle) and DE Brian Robison (glute) were limited in practice Thursday, [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos S Quinton Carter (hamstring) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Lamin Barrow (concussion), TE Virgil Green (calf), LB Steven Johnson (ankle) and OG Louis Vasquez (illness) [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) was limited in practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

Billy WinnOct 30 06:22p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DE Phil Taylor (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), S Jim Leonhard (ankle), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder), [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Chris JohnsonOct 30 06:12p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson, who carried the ball just three times for seven yards in Week 8, said he's frustrated with his limited role in the offense. [ More ]

Tom CrabtreeOct 30 06:02p

The New Orleans Saints waived TE Tom Crabtree Thursday, Oct. 30.

Patrick PetersonOct 30 05:42p

Arizona Cardinals S Tony Jefferson (head) and TE Troy Niklas (ankle) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Calais Campbell (knee), LB Kenny Demens (knee), S Rashad Johnson [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 30 05:22p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Jamell Fleming (hamstring) and LB Josh Martin (hamstring, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Eric Berry (ankle) and CB Christopher Owens (knee) were [ More ]

Demario DavisOct 30 05:22p

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), OG Willie Colon [ More ]

Keenan RobinsonOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins S Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) and OT Trent Williams (knee) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Ryan Kerrigan (wrist), LB Trent Murphy (knee), CB Tracy [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) practiced in full for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:02p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) will start against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9, barring any setbacks this week in practice, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Mike PounceyOct 30 05:02p

Miami Dolphins OG Daryn Colledge (illness, back) LB Chris McCain (foot) and TE Dion Sims (toe) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Nate Garner (neck), LB Koa Misi [ More ]

Andre BranchOct 30 04:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Will Blackmon (finger), DE Andre Branch (groin), DE Chris Clemons (non-injury), LB Geno Hayes (non-injury) and DT Roy Miller (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group