Commissioner will meet with Big Ben
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says he plans to meet with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger about the star's off-field problems.
Goodell already has spoken with team owners about Roethlisberger, who is accused of assaulting a 20-year-old college student in a Georgia nightclub on March 5. Roethlisberger's attorney says the quarterback committed no crime.
Goodell says the league "takes this issue very seriously," and that he is "concerned that Ben continues to put himself in this position."
Roethlisberger also is being sued by a woman who claims he raped her in 2008 at a Lake Tahoe hotel. He denies those allegations and has asked for counter-damages.
David Cornwell, Roethlisberger's lead attorney, said in a statement that he contacted the NFL when the most recent allegations were made against the quarterback.
"We agreed that I would keep the NFL apprised of all developments as they warrant," Cornwell said.
NEW OT FAVORED
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he likes the proposal to modify overtime in the playoffs.
The competition committee recommended that a team surrendering a field goal on the first possession should have a series of its own in OT. Goodell says the idea "stays true to the integrity of the game" and finds it "very much worth considering."
The 32 team owners are expected to vote on the issue this week at their annual league meetings. It would need 24 votes for approval.
Goodell believes the concept of sudden death should be kept, and the proposal does that because a team winning the coin toss and scoring a touchdown right away would win. Should that team not score, sudden death ensues anyway.
GM MCCLOUGHAN OUT
Scot McCloughan is no longer the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers in a "mutual parting," and director of player personnel Trent Baalke will lead the team into next month's draft.
Team president Jed York, speaking yesterday in a conference call from the owners meetings in Orlando, says it's in the best interest of both parties and called it a "private personnel matter."
Several reports last Thursday said the Niners were cutting ties with McCloughan because of personal issues, though the GM's agent said at the time that he had not been informed.
N.E. TO GET 4 PICKS
The New England Patriots have been awarded four compensatory picks in April's NFL draft to make up for free agents they lost last year.
In all, 32 such picks are given out, with 19 teams getting at least one. New England's will come in the sixth round (one, No. 205 overall) and seventh round (three, Nos. 247, 248 and 250).
Carolina, Pittsburgh and Tennessee each will get three, while Atlanta, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Philadelphia receive two.
AND WHAT'S MORE
Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown, who had been in Atlanta to help celebrate his parents' anniversary, was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol and released from jail a few hours later, officials said yesterday. ... Mark Ingram Sr., a star NFL player in the 1990s and the father of Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram Jr., was sentenced yesterday to more than two additional years in federal prison for jumping bail in an attempt to see his son play in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. ... The Baltimore Ravens reached an agreement on a two-year deal with former Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cory Redding. ... New York Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards has signed his tender and reported for the first day of voluntary offseason workouts.