NFL notes

Cowboys DT Brent retires, charged in fatal crash

Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent retired from football at the age of 25 on Thursday, saying "doing the right things in life" is more important as he prepares to defend himself against a manslaughter charge in the drunken-driving crash that killed a teammate.

Brent said he had "given a lot of thought" to his decision. His football career has been on hold since the Dec. 8 crash that killed Jerry Brown, a practice squad player, college teammate and close friend.

"I am at a point where my main focus is all about getting the priorities in my life in order," Brent said in a statement provided by the team. "Those priorities are more important than football. Doing the right things in life are more important than football. I love the game very much. I love my teammates, but this is the right thing for me to do."

Brent is charged with intoxication manslaughter and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, though he could also get probation. Suburban Dallas police accused Brent of driving with a blood-alcohol content more than twice the legal limit the night of the crash.

He has also tested positive twice for marijuana while out on bond, and was briefly jailed after the second test. He is again out on bond, but under stricter conditions that include monitoring for drugs and alcohol, and is banned from driving.

Owner Jerry Jones and coach Jason Garrett both said they supported Brent's decision to focus on life outside of football instead of the game. Jones told reporters that Brent's recent failed drug tests didn't affect his support of the player.

"I promised Jerry's mother that we would support Josh in every way we could," Jones said. "That's been our only thought since the accident is to support him and support our team in their support of him."

The Cowboys at the end of last season put Brent on the reserve non-football injury list. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello indicated the league would not punish Brent now that he was stepping away from football.

"With his retirement, there is no action for us to take at this point," Aiello said.

One of Brent's attorneys, George Milner, said the retirement has no effect on the criminal case. Prosecutors declined to comment.

Bengals still hearing about first 'Hard Knocks'

Cincinnati had quarterback Carson Palmer and receiver Chad Johnson - then going by the last name of Ochocinco - when it was on the 2009 show. "Hard Knocks" won two Emmy Awards that year for editing and production.

Ross Ketover, an executive producer for the show, presented Lewis with one of the show's Emmys on Thursday.

"It's not really the trophy that we're actually striving for," Lewis said, laughing, "but we've got some accomplishments to do along the way. But that's awesome."

Many teams refuse to do "Hard Knocks" because it shows interactions between players, coaches and front-office managers in otherwise private moments. The Bengals had a few such moments during the 2009 show.

One of the lasting lines was delivered by Lewis in the locker room after a preseason loss. Unhappy with a ragged performance, Lewis berated his team as the cameras rolled and screamed at the players to "reach down inside and be a (profanity) pro."

Lewis regretted that the moment was shown on television. He said on Thursday that he still gets comments about it.

"I got one yesterday," he said. "If you took the time to think about it, it's probably something you would have done in the confines of your own group, but that's something that just happens in the moment."

Numerous teams shy away from the show for that reason. The Bengals think another appearance will be popular with their fans. Lewis said he was fine with whatever owner Mike Brown decided.

"People have asked "why?' and it's a couple of things," Lewis said. "No. 1, from the standpoint of our fans, the comments people have made to me talking about what a great opportunity it was for them to get to know the Cincinnati Bengals players when we did it a few years ago in 2009.

"And from the standpoint of me as the coach: We have to go win football games, regardless of who is watching."

49ers linebacker Brooks won't face assault charges

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's office said Thursday it won't pursue assault charges against San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks because of insufficient evidence in the case.

Assistant District Attorney Karyn Sinunu-Towery said that Brooks will not face prosecution after further investigation into allegations that Brooks repeatedly hit a teammate on the head with a beer bottle in a June incident.

The district attorney's office said early this month there was no arrest warrant for Brooks after one initially had been filed erroneously.

According to police, Brooks hit teammate Lamar Divens with the bottle three times and then punched him in the face during an early morning argument June 8. The alleged attack left Divens with a 3-inch cut on his forehead, according to police statements.

Police statements said Brooks, Divens and others had been drinking and went to a bar before returning to Brooks' house. Divens pretended to throw Brooks' keys in the grass, though he had actually held onto the keys, prompting the attack. Investigators were told Brooks was intoxicated and had threatened to get a gun.

A memo released Thursday from the district attorney's office in announcing the dismissal of the case states that Brooks and Divens had altercations at Brooks' home in both May and June.
"I have reviewed the memo and agree with its conclusion," District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. "Cases are not always what they first appear. The value to a thorough and deliberate investigation is a more complete picture of the facts. We cannot prosecute this case because we cannot prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt to 12 jurors. To file criminal charges when we do not believe we will obtain a conviction is wrong." The Santa Clara County District Attorney's office says it won't pursue assault charges against San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks because of insufficient evidence in the case.

Assistant District Attorney Karyn Sinunu-Towery said Thursday that Brooks will not face prosecution after further investigation into allegations that Brooks repeatedly hit a teammate on the head with a beer bottle in a June incident.

The district attorney's office said early this month there was no arrest warrant for Brooks after one initially had been filed erroneously.

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