- 2016 Elections
- 2016 Lunch Debates
- Special Reports
- Maps & Data
- Dear Abby
- Games & Puzzles
- Events & Exhibits
- Food & Drink
- Arts & Music
- Movies & TV
Vilma's defamation suit against Goodell dismissed
A federal judge has dismissed New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma's defamation lawsuit against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in connection with the bounty case.
U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan in New Orleans said Thursday the bounty matter "feels as protracted and painful as the Saints season itself, and calls for closure."
Goodell initially suspended Vilma for all of the 2012 season, and three other players received shorter bans. But Paul Tagliabue, Goodell's predecessor as commissioner, heard a final round of player appeals and threw out the suspensions last month.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says Goodell has no comment on Thursday's ruling by Berrigan.
Peter Ginsberg, a lawyer for Vilma, says in an email to The Associated Press that they are "extremely disappointed" and "considering our options."
Kelly greeted warmly in Philly
Torn between loyalty to his players and accepting a new challenge, Chip Kelly ultimately chose the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles.
He just needed more time to make the decision.
"The hardest thing for me to do was to leave Oregon," Kelly said at a news conference introducing him as the 21st coach in team history. "I knew it was a great fit, but it was whether I could leave what I have. I love those guys and it had to be a special place for me to leave."
The Eagles hired Kelly on Wednesday, giving him a five-year contract and ending an exhaustive search to replace Andy Reid. The offensive innovator was lured away from Oregon, where he went 46-7 in four seasons and turned the program into a national powerhouse.
From the start, Kelly appeared to be Philadelphia's top choice. But two days after a nine-hour meeting in Arizona with owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman and president Don Smolenski, Kelly chose to stay at Oregon.
The Eagles continued interviewing other candidates, and were close to offering the job to Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley on Tuesday night. But Kelly changed his mind after thinking harder about making the move and talking to several people, including Reid who quickly moved on to become Kansas City's coach.
Trestman eager to work with Cutler
Marc Trestman insisted he has one of the best jobs in sports now that he is the Chicago Bears' head coach, and he can't wait to work with quarterback Jay Cutler.
He also emphasized the sense of urgency.
"This is clearly a franchise that has the highest expectations for its team, where winning consistently is a standard," Trestman said Thursday at his introductory news conference.
Trestman spent the past five seasons coaching the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, leading them to two championships, and was a longtime NFL assistant who was known for his work with quarterbacks.
Chicago general manager Phil Emery confirmed Trestman beat out offensive coordinators Bruce Arians of Indianapolis and Seattle's Darrell Bevell for the job. All three were brought back for second interviews, and Bevell was the first eliminated from that group because he lacked head coaching experience.
Cards hire Arians as head coach
The Arizona Cardinals have filled the NFL's final head coaching vacancy by hiring Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
The team confirmed the hiring in a release Thursday night.
The 60-year-old longtime assistant went 9-3 as Colts interim head coach while Chuck Pagano was undergoing treatment for leukemia last season.
Bradley hired as Jags' head coach
The Jacksonville Jaguars have hired Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley as head coach.
The 46-year-old Bradley is part of Jacksonville's rebuilding project directed by general manager David Caldwell.
ESPN first reported the hire Thursday.
Bradley spent the last four seasons in Seattle, where his defense improved each of the last three years and finished in the top 10 in points and yards the last two.
Jets appear close to hiring new GM
The New York Jets are closing in on hiring a general manager, with Seattle executive John Idzik the apparent front-runner.
ESPN, citing anonymous sources, reports that the Jets are close Thursday night to offering the job to Idzik, the Seahawks' vice president of football administration.
Idzik and Pittsburgh executive Omar Khan are among the finalists being considered by owner Woody Johnson and team president Neil Glat.
Idzik, whose strengths include managing salaries and the salary cap but has also worked in player personnel, has been with the Seahawks the past six seasons after previously working in the front office for Tampa Bay and Arizona.
Browns turn to Turner on offense
The Cleveland Browns named Norv Turner their new offensive coordinator.
Turner, fired by the Chargers as head coach earlier this month, led San Diego to a 59-43 record in six years with three division titles. He also was head coach of the Washington Redskins (1994-2000) and Oakland Raiders (2004-05).
Whisenhunt is Chargers new OC
The San Diego Chargers hired former Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt to serve as the team's offensive coordinator.
New Chargers coach Mike McCoy lauded Whisenhunt's experience with the Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers, saying Whisenhunt has a "very creative mind" and will be a great asset for San Diego.
Ryan Leaf kicked out of drug treatment center
Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf has been moved from a central Montana drug treatment center to the state prison in Deer Lodge.
Regional probation and parole administrator Dawn Handa told the Great Falls Tribune on Thursday that Leaf was terminated from the Nexus Treatment Center in Lewistown after violating the conditions of the placement, including threatening a staff member.
Leaf was charged with breaking into two houses and stealing prescription painkillers. He pleaded guilty to burglary and criminal possession of dangerous drugs. He was sentenced in June to five years with the Department of Corrections with the recommendation that he spend the first nine months in a locked drug treatment facility.
Leaf also faces the revocation of a 10-year probationary sentence for a 2010 drug and burglary conviction in Texas.