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

Justin HoustonMar 2 09:52a

Kansas City Chiefs LB Justin Houston had the franchise tag placed on him Monday, March 2, according to a source.

Ndamukong SuhMar 2 09:43a

Detroit Lions impending free-agent DT Ndamukong Suh will not receive the franchise tag Monday, March 2.

LaMarr WoodleyMar 1 07:12p

The Oakland Raiders plan to release DE LaMarr Woodley, a league source said Sunday, March 1. He made just five tackles in six games before his season ended due [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayMar 1 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray probably will hit the free-agent market since contract talks with him have gone slow, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. Jones [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 10:12p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is expected to receive the franchise tag by Monday, March 2, but during the NFL Scouting Combine, team owner Jerry Jones said that he [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayFeb 28 09:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray could give the team a chance to match any offer he receives during free agency, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. 'There is [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 08:52p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will receive the franchise tag by the deadline Monday, March 2, executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed Saturday, Feb. 28. The move will guarantee [ More ]

EJ ManuelFeb 28 02:22p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel still seems to be the No. 1 option at quarterback, for now, with Josh McCown heading to the Cleveland Browns. Buffalo could still add [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown signed a three-year deal Friday, Feb. 27, according to a source. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. McCown completed [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 06:32p

Free-agent QB Josh McCown (Buccaneers) has signed with the Cleveland Browns, according to his agent. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Reggie WayneFeb 27 04:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (triceps) recently underwent surgery on his triceps and has started his rehab. Wayne still has not decided if he will play in 2015.

Darnell DockettFeb 27 04:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett was released Friday, Feb. 27. The Cardinals would like to re-sign Dockett if he is not able to find a better offer from another team.

Brandon GibsonFeb 27 03:42p

Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Stephen BowenFeb 27 03:22p

Washington Redskins DE Stephen Bowen was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade target for the Indianapolis Colts. QB Andrew Luck hasn't had a successful running game behind him so far in Indianapolis. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade option for the Arizona Cardinals with QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald nearing the end of their careers in [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be an option to be traded to the Dallas Cowboys. Peterson is from Palestine, Texas, which is between Dallas and Houston, and he's [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 27 02:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman could be the full-time back in new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme next season, according tot general manager Thomas Dimitroff. 'My first impression of [ More ]

Robert GeathersFeb 27 01:32p

Cincinnati Bengals DE Robert Geathers was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Greg LittleFeb 27 01:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Greg Little was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Chris CantyFeb 27 11:32a

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty was released Friday, Feb. 27. The move saved the team around $2.7 million on the salary cap.

Brian HartlineFeb 27 10:32a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Harry DouglasFeb 27 10:32a

Atlanta Falcons WR Harry Douglas was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Matt HasselbeckFeb 26 07:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent QB Matt Hasselbeck was re-signed to a one-year deal Thursday, Feb. 26. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Steven JacksonFeb 26 07:32p

Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson will reportedly be released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 05:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension was overturned by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty Thursday, Feb. 26. However, the NFL also announced that they will appeal the ruling, [ More ]

Travis KelceFeb 26 05:42p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, who led the team with 67 catches and 862 receiving yards in 2014, is expected to be a more prominent part of the [ More ]

Kendall LangfordFeb 26 04:12p

St. Louis Rams DT Kendall Langford was released Thursday, Feb. 26, saving the team $6 million in salary cap space.

Greg HardyFeb 26 02:32p

Carolina Panthers impending free-agent DE Greg Hardy will seek immediate reinstatement after a judge overturned Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension, according to a source.

Theo RiddickFeb 26 02:22p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick likely will be given the chance to earn a bigger role in the offense next season after the team released RB Reggie Bush.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 12:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension has been overturned after a judge granted a motion from the NFL Players Association to vacate the suspension.

Michael RoosFeb 26 12:02p

Free-agent OT Michael Roos (Titans) has announced his retirement from professional football.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group