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Doug Martin says he wants to remain with Bucs on PFT Live

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) gets around Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Terence Newman (23) on a 7-yard touchdown run during the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius) AP

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers declined to pick up the fifth-year option on running back Doug Martin last May, it meant Martin would be scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2015 season.

After a resurgent 2015 campaign that saw Martin rush for 1,402 yards and six touchdowns, Martin has put himself among the top running backs that could hit the market when the new league year starts in March.

However, Martin and the Buccaneers are already talking about a new contract to keep him in Tampa. On PFT Live with Mike Florio from Radio Row at the Super Bowl on Thursday, Martin stated his desire to remain with the Buccaneeers.

“I love Tampa and Tampa loves me,” Martin said. “I’ve got a house out there so I do wish I’ll go back to Tampa.”

If a contract can’t be reached in the coming weeks, the Buccaneers could elect to use the franchise tag on Martin to keep him in Tampa.

“I’ll play the year and we’ll see what happens,” Martin said regarding if he was designated a franchise player. “Those negotiations are being talked about behind the scenes.”

Meanwhile, Martin will be playing for a new head coach in Dirk Koetter after Lovie Smith was fired last month. Martin said the decision to let Smith go caught the team by surprise.

“Yeah, it was a surprise,” Martin said. “It was shocking to everybody cause he progressed last year. Everybody saw us getting better so we thought we were going to get Lovie back and do more great things but that wasn’t the case. We promoted Koetter, our previous (offensive coordinator), and I think he’s going to do an awesome job. He’s going to do a great job with the Bucs and I can’t wait to play for him.”

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Prosecutor won’t file charges against Browns OL coach Moeller

Baltimore Ravens 2011 Headshots Getty Images

The Berea prosecutor’s office will not file charges against Browns offensive line coach Andy Moeller following a Sept. 5 incident in which he was accused of assault.

Prosecutor Jim Walters wrote in his decision Wednesday morning that “it is quite clear an incident of volatile nature took place…what is less clear is the actions of the two persons involved.”

The woman who called 9-1-1 and accused Moeller told police that Moeller was her fiancee. She told the 9-1-1 dispatcher Moeller “tried to strangle me and beat me up” and that “I hate to do this to him.” She twice changed her mind about pursuing charges.

The Browns’ day-to-day headquarters are in Berea, a suburb about 15 miles southwest of Downtown Cleveland. The team suspended Moeller indefinitely following the incident.

The announcement that Moeller won’t face charges came with details from the prosecutor that “the consumption of alcohol contributed significantly to the incident.” The two had been drinking, starting earlier in the day at an Octoberfest event at the nearby Berea Fairgrounds.

Moeller was suspended by the NFL in 2011 while working for the Ravens after his third alcohol-related arrest in four years.

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NFL has requested meeting with accused Deflategate employees

Troy Vincent AP

The next step in the Patriots’ quest to have accused Deflategate participants John Jastremski and Jim McNally reinstated could be a meeting with NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent, NFL Network reported Sunday.

Sources told NFL Network that Jastremski, an equipment staffer, and McNally, a locker room attendant, face discipline for their role in the apparent deflation of footballs.

The Patriots made a formal request for their reinstatement last week, which the league acknowledged and is reviewing. A meeting with Vincent has long been said to be a step in the process of ending the suspensions that started in May.

Both men were cited in the Wells report as being involved in tampering with footballs, and the report said league officials believe the men should be held accountable. Their texts and appearance on surveillance video were prominent in the Wells report.

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Prosecutor: No ruling on Browns OL coach until next week

Baltimore Ravens 2011 Headshots Getty Images

The Berea prosecutor’s office issued a statement Thursday that said a review of the case involving suspended Browns offensive line coach Andy Moeller won’t be completed until the middle of next week.

Berea Police were called last Saturday by a woman walking away from the house because she claimed Moeller assaulted her. She later told police she didn’t want to pursue charges, and though Moeller was not arrested the case was referred to the prosecutor’s office.

The Browns announced Monday that Moeller had been suspended indefinitely. On Tuesday, audio of the initial 9-1-1 call was released, revealing that the woman told the dispatcher Moeller “tried to strangle me and beat me up” and that Moeller had hurt her before.

The incident took place near the Browns’ day-to-day headquarters in Berea, a suburb about 15 miles southwest of Downtown Cleveland.

“Everything about the incident is troubling,” Browns coach Mike Pettine told reporters Wednesday. “The allegations, all the information that is available, it’s disturbing.”

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9-1-1 call provides new details on incident involving Browns OL coach

Baltimore Ravens 2011 Headshots Getty Images

The police report made public Tuesday morning was vague, but audio of the 911 call involving the woman who alleges she was assaulted by Browns offensive line coach Andy Moeller released Tuesday paints a clearer picture of why she called police last Saturday night.

He tried to strangle me and beat me up,” the woman told the 9-1-1 dispatcher.

The call was made while the woman was walking away from the house at around 9 p.m. Saturday.

“I hate to do this to him but I am glad I made it out in time,” the caller said.

The police report said that the woman told police in a call made about three hours after the original call that she wished to pursue charges and had an injury from the incident that was not immediately visible. At just before 8 a.m. Sunday, police were called to a hotel in nearby Middleburg Heights where they’d taken the woman, and at that time she said she wanted to drop the assault charge.

Moeller was not arrested, and the prosecutor has not yet announced if he’ll file charges. The police report cited “conflicting stories” told by the involved parties.

Moeller was suspended indefinitely by the Browns on Monday.

On the 9-1-1 call, the woman told the dispatcher Moeller had hurt her before, that “some alcohol” had been involved and that he had been her fiancee “but not anymore.” Moeller was suspended by the NFL in 2011 while working for the Ravens after his third alcohol-related arrest in four years.

About five minutes into the call, Berea Police officers encountered the woman on Eastland Rd.

A team statement Monday said the Browns had suspended Moeller after allegations the team “takes very seriously.” Moeller was in the building and met with players briefly Monday, the players’ first day at work since the incident, before leaving.

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Moeller police report cites conflicting stories, says victim changed mind on charges

Baltimore Ravens 2011 Headshots Getty Images

The police report from the incident for which Browns’ offensive line coach Andy Moeller has been indefinitely suspended by the team cites “conflicting stories” and says the alleged victim “had no visible injuries” after she told police she’d been assaulted by Moeller in his home on Eastland Rd. in Berea last Saturday night.

At about midnight last Sunday, three hours after the initial call, the victim told police she wished to pursue charges and had an injury from the incident that was not immediately visible.

The report states that at about 7:55 a.m. Sunday, police were called to a hotel in nearby Middleburg Heights where they’d taken the victim, and at that time she said she wanted to drop the assault charge. She was informed that the original complaint would be forwarded to the prosecutor.

This Cleveland.com story that contains a copy of the police report said Berea prosecutor Jim Walters is in the process of determining if charges will be filed.

The woman was not named in the police report. Moeller’s name was redacted because he has not been charged.

The Browns’ day-to-day headquarters can be accessed off of Eastland Rd. in Berea, a suburb about 15 miles southwest of Downtown Cleveland.

A team statement Monday said the Browns had suspended Moeller after allegations the team “takes very seriously.” Moeller was in the building and met with players briefly Monday, the players’ first day at work since the incident, before leaving.

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Police investigating claim Browns’ OL coach assaulted female house guest

Baltimore Ravens 2011 Headshots Getty Images

An indefinite suspension for Browns offensive line coach Andy Moeller was handed down by the team Monday as police continue to investigate a claim from a Maryland woman that she was assaulted by Moeller in his home.

Police were called to Moeller’s home Saturday night but, as first reported by Cleveland Scene Magazine, but he was not arrested.

An ESPN report Monday evening said that by the time police arrived, the woman, described as a guest at the home, was unsure about pressing charges.

Berea Police were required to file a report, which was presented to the city prosecutor, and the prosecutor will eventually determine if charges will be filed. Per the ESPN report, it is classified as assault and not domestic assault because the alleged assault was not with a live-in partner or spouse.

Scott Taylor of WOIO in Cleveland was first to report that Berea Police will have no further update or comment on the matter until Tuesday; the ESPN report echoed that. The Browns’ day to day operations are headquartered in Berea, a suburb southwest of Cleveland near Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Earlier Monday, the team released a statement that said Moeller “was involved in an incident involving allegations that we take very seriously.”

Moeller is in his second year with the Browns after holding the same position with the Ravens for six seasons. He was found guilty of DUI in 2011 after his third alcohol-related arrest in four years.

Browns Coach Mike Pettine offered nothing more on Moeller at his post-practice press briefing Monday, deferring to the team-released statement.

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Browns OL coach was not arrested; police will share more Tuesday

Baltimore Ravens 2011 Headshots Getty Images

Police were called to the home of Browns offensive line coach Andy Moeller Saturday night but Moeller, who’s been suspended indefinitely, was not arrested.

That comes via a report by Cleveland Scene Magazine that said the case will be referred to a prosecutor.

Scott Taylor of WOIO in Cleveland was first to report that Berea Police will have no further update or comment on the matter until Tuesday. The Browns’ day to day operations are headquartered in Berea, a suburb southwest of Cleveland near Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Earlier Monday, the team released a statement that said Moeller “was involved in an incident involving allegations that we take very seriously.”

Moeller is in his second year with the Browns after holding the same position with the Ravens for six seasons. He was found guilty of DUI in 2011 after his third alcohol-related arrest in four years.

Browns Coach Mike Pettine offered nothing more on Moeller at his post-practice press briefing Monday, saying the team statement reflected his thoughts.

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James Harrison says old pal Goodell will win fight vs. Brady

James Harrison, Art Rooney II AP

James Harrison has never been afraid to speak out against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, but when Harrison was asked by reporters about DeflateGate and Goodell’s court battle vs. Tom Brady and the Patriots, Harrison said he believes Brady’s four-game suspension will be upheld.

Because the Steelers play the Patriots Sept. 10 in the season opener, the result of the proceedings are of particular interest to Harrison. But the 37-year old linebacker had no personal feelings involved when he shared his viewpoint.

“I don’t see what a federal judge can do with something the players signed in the collective bargaining agreement, which gives Roger Goodell (power) to do what he wants to,” Harrison said. “And if that’s the case and he’s going by the letter of what he says, there’s nothing (a judge) can do.”

Monday, federal judge Richard Berman pledged to rule by Friday on Brady’s challenge of his four-game suspension after talks between Brady’s representatives and the NFL failed to reach a settlement.

Harrison and Goodell have quite a history, both of face to face meetings regarding fines that have totaled $150,000 and of Harrison publicly criticizing Goodell. Harrison called Goodell a “crook” and “devil” in a 2011 magazine interview and last year took to Twitter and needled Goodell for his handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident.

“If (Goodell) was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn’t do it,” Harrison told Men’s Journal in 2011. “I hate him and will never respect him.”

Harrison tweeted last September, when he considered himself retired, that Steelers players voted against the new CBA in 2011.

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Sheldon Richardson pleads not guilty

New England Patriots v New York Jets Getty Images

Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson was practicing with his teammates Monday. Through his attorney in Missouri, he pleaded not guilty to resisting arrest and various other charges stemming from his July 14 arrest.

His next hearing is Oct. 5. Richardson is not required to attend.

Richardson is allowed to be with the Jets this week. His four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy starts this weekend, and the 2013 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year is facing a possible longer ban based on the outcome of the charges he’s facing after police alleged he tried to elude them during a street race.

The police report stated that Richardson was clocked going 143 mph with a 12-year-old relative and a concealed loaded gun in the car. The arresting officer “smelled a very strong odor of burned marijuana emanating from the vehicle and all passengers smelled of burned marijuana.”

Though he’s only facing misdemeanor charges, Richardson is still subject to up to a year in jail if found guilty.

Last week, Richardson told reporters it was “pretty tough” to not know when he’ll play football again and that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell could deliver a stiff penalty under the league’s personal conduct policy.

“It’s a cloud over my head,” Richardson said.

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Lesser charges for Justin Hunter

Pittsburgh Steelers v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

The charges against Titans wide receiver Justin Hunter stemming from a July 3 incident in Virginia Beach have been lessened to misdemeanor assault and battery, per The Tennesseean.

His trial begins next week, and a Friday statement from state prosecutors said information gathered from interviews with witnesses “better supports the charge of assault and battery.”

Prosecutors said that Hunter punched another man several times, which led the alleged victim to go to the hospital to be treated for a broken jaw. After being released on a $25,000 bond, Hunter was placed under a court-ordered curfew that runs from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. and barred from drinking alcohol.

The Titans are hoping this can be the year Hunter puts it all together on the field. The NFL has monitored the case but Hunter has not been subject thus far to any league or team discipline.

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Rich McKay reinstated as head of NFL competition committee

Rich McCay AP

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with Falcons president Rich McKay on Wednesday and has reinstated McKay as the head of the league’s competition committee, effective immediately. McKay was suspended from the competition committee as part of the team’s penalty for pumping fake noise into the Georgia Dome during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

The NFL concluded McKay was unaware of the artificial crowd noise but “bared some responsibility for ensuring that team employees comply with league rules.” McKay’s suspension began April 1, and he was eligible to apply for reinstatement after June 30.

A co-chairman since 1998, Goodell promoted McKay to head of the competition committee in 2011.

The Falcons were fined $350,000 and docked a 2016 fifth-round draft pick as part of the punishment.

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Joe Thomas compares NFL to WWE, Goodell to Vince McMahon

Joe Thomas, Mike Pettine AP

Browns left tackle Joe Thomas had an interesting take on Tom Brady and DeflateGate on Sunday when Cleveland-area reporters asked the eight-time Pro Bowler about it.

Per Pat McManamon of ESPN, Thomas likened the NFL to professional wresting and compared NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to WWE chairman Vince McMahon, saying the NFL is an “entertainment business” and that “basically, Goodell is Vince McMahon.”

That may not go over well with Goodell, but Thomas said the NFL set up a “sting operation” on Brady and ultimately gave him “the death penalty” for what Thomas said equated “to driving 66 [MPH] in a 65 zone.”

But Thomas said Goodell is making headlines and that “his predecessor did not act unreasonably” in dealing with such matters. Thomas sees football air pressure as a non-story but said he understands that everything is a story in today’s game.

“I’m not sure if [Goodell] realizes what he’s doing is brilliant, but what he’s doing is brilliant because he’s made the NFL relevant 365 [days] by having these outrageous, ridiculous witch hunts,” Thomas said. “It’s made the game more popular than ever and it’s become so much more of an entertainment business and it’s making so much money.

“That’s why I’m sure there’s plenty of people saying this is embarrassing for the league. But it’s an entertainment business when it comes right down to it. When the game gets eyeballs in newspapers and on TV, that’s what in the end is the goal for everyone. And that’s what this controversy is giving them.”

More of what Thomas said is posted here in McManamon’s blog.

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Delmas has ACL injury

Delmas AP

As the Dolphins try to avoid another late-season collapse that wipes them out of playoff contention, they’ll be dealing with an injury that wipes a starting defensive player out of the lineup for the rest of the year.

Via Adam H. Beasley and Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, safety Louis Delmas suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during Sunday’s loss to the Ravens.

Delmas, who signed with the Dolphins after spending five years with the Lions, started 12 games for a Miami team that entered Sunday’s game at 7-5 but that now sits at 7-6, good for ninth in the six-team playoff seeding.  And the Dolphins travel to New England on Sunday.

Rookie Walt Aikens is the next man up in a secondary that has had several next men up in recent weeks.

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Christie signs bill allowing sports betting in New Jersey

Chris Christie AP

New Jersey hasn’t given up on its sports betting dreams.

On Friday, Governor Chris Christie signed a new sports wagering bill into law, and the Monmouth Park horse racing track in Oceanport announced it would begin taking bets on Sunday, October 26.

In a statement released by Christie’s office Friday, the governor said the bill “closely adheres to controlling federal law.”

The federal law in question is the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, passed in 1992. The law has effectively limited sports betting to a few states, with Nevada the only state that’s been able to offer single-game wagering.

That Monmouth would plan to start taking sports wagers on a Sunday shouldn’t come as any surprise. The ability to legally wager on NFL games figures to fuel a good deal of the public interest in sports betting in the state.

However, New Jersey might not be home free just yet. The NFL has more than a week to legally challenge New Jersey’s betting plans, something it successfully did just last year in conjunction with other athletic leagues and governing bodies, including the NCAA and NBA.

The NFL declined comment Friday night about New Jersey’s designs on sports betting.

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