NFL notebook: Judge again rejects league's $765M concussion deal
A federal judge in Philadelphia again denied preliminary approval of the proposed $765 million settlement of NFL concussion claims.
U.S. District Judge Anita Brody's order Wednesday also denies class-action status to lawsuits filed by thousands of retired players, at least for now.
The ruling comes after Brody asked lawyers for more details to support claims the fund would cover up to 20,000 players for 65 years. Young players with severe brain injuries would get up to $5 million under the deal, though most players would get far less.
Brody has also sought help from a financial expert to help her analyze the deal.
She is expected to conduct more extensive hearings this year.
Jets ink ex-Titans RB Johnson
Always fast on the field, Chris Johnson found a new job pretty quickly, too.
The Jets signed the former Titans running back, a little over a week after he was officially released by Tennessee on April 7.
Johnson met with the Jets all day Tuesday — the first team he visited — and stayed in town to watch the Knicks-Nets game in Brooklyn before signing Wednesday. The Jets announced the move, but didn't release terms.
It is a two-year deal worth up to a reported $9 million.
The former 2,000-yard rusher will team with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell to give coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg a deep and dangerous backfield.
The Jets also have Mike Goodson, who is dealing with legal issues and recovering from torn knee ligaments, and Alex Green.
Johnson finished with 1,077 yards — the second-lowest total of his career — and a career-worst 3.9-yard average last season. He also rushed for 100 or more yards just twice, including the regular-season finale in which he had 127 yards to go over the 1,000-yard mark.
Also, the Jets hosted injury-plagued former Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice.
Bills great Kelly hoping to spend weekend at home
Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is planning to spend this weekend celebrating Easter at home in suburban Buffalo with his family, before returning to New York City to resume treatments for sinus cancer.
Barring any setbacks, Kelly's brother said the former Bills star will travel home Friday before returning on Sunday to resume treatments.
“He's doing pretty good,” Dan Kelly told The Associated Press. “We anticipate Jim coming home for this weekend. He's put together a couple of good days in a row.”
Dan Kelly said his brother had a rough stretch last week following his first chemotherapy session on April 8. He said the treatments are particularly painful because they're targeting cancer cells attached to nerves in Kelly's maxillary sinus and adjacent tissues.
Kelly is scheduled to have two more chemotherapy sessions and is also having radiation treatment five days a week.
He has spent the past three weeks being treated at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.
Kelly initially underwent surgery in Buffalo last June to remove cancerous cells from his upper jaw. A follow-up test in March revealed that the cancer had returned.
Giants sign QB Freeman as backup
Quarterback Josh Freeman agreed to terms with the Giants, according to an Associated Press report citing an anonymous source.
Freeman was cut by the Buccaneers in October after a messy split. He signed with Minnesota four days later, but played just one game for the Vikings.
That happened to come against the Giants, when he went 20 for 53 for 190 yards and one interception in the ugly 23-7 Monday night loss.
The 17th pick in the 2009 draft, Freeman started 59 games for the Bucs over four-plus seasons before the relationship soured. He threw for 3,451 yards and 25 touchdowns with six interceptions in 2010.
Freeman would compete to back up Eli Manning with the Giants.
Officer: Sharper's DNA found on 1 Arizona victim
An Arizona detective says the DNA of former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper was found in an examination of one of two women who accuse him of drugging and sexually assaulting them last year at a Tempe apartment.
Tempe police Detective Kevin Mace said at a hearing in Phoenix on Wednesday that Sharper's DNA was recovered from one of the women's clothing, but none of his DNA was found during an exam of the other victim.
Mace's testimony came at a hearing in which Sharper's lawyers are challenging the evidence used to keep him in an Arizona jail without bail.
A judge hasn't yet ruled on the issue and will continue the hearing Thursday.
Sharper hasn't yet entered a plea in the Arizona case, but his lawyers say he would deny the allegations.
Report: Raiders shopping Pryor
The Raiders are hoping to trade quarterback Terrelle Pryor before the start of their offseason program Tuesday, Pro Football Talk reported.
The Raiders traded for former Texans quarterback Matt Schaub last month and also have Matt McGloin, a former undrafted free agent out of Penn State, in the No. 2 spot.
Around the league
Former Allderdice and West Virginia defensive end Will Clarke visited with the Cowboys, according to the Dallas Morning News. ... The Packers reached a deal to bring back backup quarterback Matt Flynn, who stabilized the position after starter Aaron Rodgers went down with a collarbone injury last season. ... Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty to amended charges of defective equipment and littering in connection with his November arrest for possessing marijuana. ... The Bengals signed punter T.J. Conley, though Kevin Huber is expected to make a full recovery from a neck injury and a broken jaw suffered against the Steelers last December.
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