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

Eben BrittonAug 30 05:12p

The Chicago Bears released WR Josh Bellamy, C Taylor Boggs, DT Brandon Dunn, LB Devekeyan Lattimore, CB Albert Louis-Jean, WR Dale Moss, DT Lee Pegues, DT Tracy Robertson, CB [ More ]

Chris ScottAug 30 05:02p

The Carolina Panthers released LB Denicos Allen, CB Carrington Byndom, OG Derek Dennis, LB Adarius Glanton, SS Robert Lester, WR Marcus Lucas, OT Andrew McDonald, FS Tom Nelson, DT [ More ]

Stephen BowenAug 30 04:12p

Washington Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson (knee) and DE Stephen Bowen (undisclosed) were placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list. OL Maurice Hurt was released as well.

Alex HeneryAug 30 02:52p

Philadelphia Eagles PK Alex Henery has been released.

Ricardo AllenAug 30 01:52p

Atlanta Falcons LB Jacques Smith and CB Ricardo Allen have been released.

Alex HeneryAug 30 01:42p

Philadelphia Eagles PK Alex Henery, WR Damaris Johnson, DE Damion Square and RB Matthew Tucker have been released.

Nate PalmerAug 30 01:42p

Green Bay Packers LBs Nate Palmer (knee) and Adrian Hubbard (leg) have been placed on Reserve/Injured.

Kenjon BarnerAug 30 01:42p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Kenjon Barner (ankle) has been waived/injured.

Maikon BonaniAug 30 01:22p

Tennessee Titans PK Maikon Bonani has been released.

Kris DurhamAug 30 01:12p

Detroit Lions WR Kris Durham has been released.

Curtis MarshAug 30 01:12p

Philadelphia Eagles CB Curtis Marsh has been released.

Asa JacksonAug 30 01:12p

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (chest), CB Lardarius Webb (back), CB Asa Jackson (ankle) and OT Jah Reid (concussion) are participating in practice Saturday, Aug. 30.

Tajh BoydAug 30 01:02p

New York Jets QB Tajh Boyd and RB Alex Green have been released.

Stephen HillAug 30 12:52p

New York Jets WR Stephen Hill has been released.

Josh BoyceAug 30 12:42p

New England Patriots WR Josh Boyce was informed of his release Saturday, Aug. 30.

Kevin VickersonAug 30 12:32p

The Denver Broncos have released DT Kevin Vickerson.

A.J. EddsAug 30 12:12p

New York Jets LB A.J. Edds (finger) was released Saturday, Aug. 30.

Lanear SampsonAug 30 12:02p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Lanear Sampson was released Saturday, Aug. 30, according to a source.

Darryl TappAug 30 12:02p

The Detroit Lions have released DE Darryl Tapp.

Daniel ThomasAug 30 11:52a

Miami Dolphins RB Daniel Thomas was released Saturday, Aug. 30.

Marcus ThigpenAug 30 11:52a

Miami Dolphins WR Marcus Thigpen (hamstring) was released Saturday, Aug. 30.

Mario ManninghamAug 30 11:52a

Updating a previous story, the New York Giants are expected to reach injury settlements with WRs Mario Manningham (calf) and Trindon Holliday (hamstring) after both have been placed in the season-ending Reserve/Injured list.

Johnny PatrickAug 30 11:42a

New York Jets CB Johnny Patrick was released, Saturday, Aug. 30, according to a source.

James HarrisonAug 30 11:32a

Free-agent LB James Harrison (Bengals) announced his retirement from the NFL Saturday, Aug. 30.

Ronnie HillmanAug 30 11:22a

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (illness) and CB Kayvon Webster (illness) were taken to the hospital after the final preseason game because they became ill. Both are expected to [ More ]

Daryl RichardsonAug 30 11:22a

New York Jets RB Daryl Richardson has been informed of his impending release, according to sources, Saturday, Aug. 30.

Mike KafkaAug 30 11:02a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released QB Mike Kafka, according to a source.

Jeff DempsAug 30 11:02a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have waived RB Jeff Demps, according to a source.

Kellen DavisAug 30 10:52a

The New York Giants may consider re-signing free-agent TE Kellen Davis after Week 1, according to a source. Davis' salary would not be guaranteed if he signs after Week 1.

Chris OgbonnayaAug 30 10:32a

The Cleveland Browns cut RB Chris Ogbonnaya Saturday, Aug. 30.

Trindon HollidayAug 30 10:32a

The New York Giants have placed WRs Mario Manningham (calf) and Trindon Holliday (hamstring) on the Reserved/Injured list, according to a source.

Lache SeastrunkAug 30 10:22a

The Washington Redskins would like to sign free-agent RB Lache Seastrunk (Redskins) to their practice squad if he is not claimed off waivers. He was cut because he needs time to improve his play.

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