INDIANAPOLIS — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will appeal the NFL’s decision to seek reimbursement of legal fees stemming from his actions related to Ezekiel Elliott‘s suspension as well as Roger Goodell’s contract extension, a source confirmed to ESPN.
A hearing has not been scheduled yet, the source said.
The Washington Post first reported Tuesday that Jones had requested the hearing, and that it would be before Goodell.
According to multiple sources, the NFL is seeking in excess of $2 million from the Cowboys, citing a rule that has been on the books since 1997 that says if an owner participates in bringing litigation against other owners, he must reimburse them for the legal fees.
Jones threatened to sue the NFL and retained lawyer David Boies over Goodell’s contract but never made a filing. The Cowboys offered a letter of support in the Elliott case as the running back fought the NFL’s six-game suspension.
“Really don’t have any comment,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Tuesday. “I’ll let Jerry address that at the appropriate time, but don’t really have anything to say about that right now.”
Stephen Jones said he was not aware of any other time the rule has been enforced, “but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened,” he said.
The reimbursement action was generated by fellow owners, not Goodell, and has been approved by the league’s finance committee, sources told ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
New Orleans Saints activate WR Tre’Quan Smith off injured reserve
METAIRIE, La. — The New Orleans Saints‘ receiving corps keeps getting healthier by the week.
Third-year receiver Tre’Quan Smith was activated off of injured reserve Saturday — a day before the Saints host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a divisional-round playoff game — after fellow receivers Michael Thomas and Deonte Harris returned from IR last week. Smith missed the past three games with an ankle injury before returning to practice this week.
Smith caught a career-high 34 passes for 448 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games this season. But the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder is equally valuable as one of New Orleans’ best downfield blockers in the run game.
The Saints also placed backup guard/center Will Clapp on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday after he learned of a positive test and missed practice on Friday. No other players were placed on the list Saturday after contract tracing.
The Saints elevated guard/center Cameron Tom and linebacker Chase Hansen from their practice squad to the active roster. They also re-signed emergency backup kicker Blair Walsh and long-snapper John Denney to their practice squad and released wide receiver Tommylee Lewis and defensive end Anthony Zettel.
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Pittsburgh Steelers expected to promote Matt Canada to offensive coordinator, source says
PITTSBURGH — The Steelers didn’t have to search far for their new offensive coordinator.
The team is expected to promote quarterbacks coach Matt Canada to offensive coordinator, a source confirmed to ESPN.
Known for his creativity in playcalling and design, Canada has been the Steelers’ quarterbacks coach for just one season, but he has plenty of experience on the collegiate level.
With Canada running the Panthers’ offense in 2016, Pitt led the nation in red zone touchdown percentage (82%) and scored at least 28 points in all 12 regular-season games.
He also previously worked with Steelers running backs coach Eddie Faulkner at NC State, Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.
Canada had been a candidate for the Miami Dolphins‘ offensive coordinator opening. NFL Network first reported that the Steelers were turning to Canada to lead the offense.
Canada’s return could signal that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is returning for the 2021 season because the veteran would be familiar with the offense and coaching style — important factors in the final years of his career.
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