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NFL roundup: Seau's family sues the league

The SportsXchange

The family of former San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau has filed a wrongful death suit against the NFL.

The suit, filed in California Superior Court in San Diego, claims that his suicide last May was caused by brain disease stemming from violent hits during his football career and blames the NFL for acts of omission, Pro Football Talk reported Wednesday, citing a story from the Associated Press.

Helmet maker Riddell Inc. is included in the lawsuit.

The NFL is accused of deliberately ignoring and concealing evidence of the risks associated with traumatic brain injuries. Tests after Seau's death revealed that he had Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy (CTE).

Seau died at age 43 of a self-inflicted gunshot. He retired in 2009 after 20 years in the

---Former Oakland receiver Tim Brown suggested a few days ago that then-Raiders coach Bill Callahan sabotaged Super Bowl XXXVII with a late change of the offensive game plan. On Wednesday, Brown said that's not what he meant.

"I have never said that he sabotaged the game," Brown said on the Dan Patrick radio show. "All I'm saying is, all I was saying after the game was, you know, the question was asked about this situation, but no one ever said -- and I said on the radio show last Saturday night -- that's something that could never be proven. We can't go inside the mind of Bill Callahan and say, 'Oh, yeah, we knew exactly what he was thinking, what he was trying to do.'

"All I'm saying is, the question was asked. But, of course, the media hears 'sabotage' and 'Bill Callahan' and 'throwing the football game;' now they're saying 'Throwing the football game' and that terminology was never used. But that wasn't the intent."

---While the Manti Te'o hoax was coming to light last week, the Washington Redskins were dealing with a similar situation involving some of their players.

At least four Washington players were part of an Internet hoax that involved a person with false online identity, NFL.com reported.

NFL security investigated a woman known as Sidney Ackerman who used pictures of an adult entertainer and the social-media handle @RedRidinH00d to attract the players' attention.

The players tried to set up meetings with Ackerman, but when they were unsuccessful, it raised suspicions.

---Two women who were with San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree and an alleged assault victim in a hotel room after a playoff game have told police investigators that he didn't attack anyone.

San Francisco police are investigating the sexual-assault allegations at a party that took place after the 49ers defeated the Green Bay Packers in an NFC divisional round game on Jan. 12.

No physical evidence has been found and police have yet to determine whether the woman who said she was attacked sought medical treatment, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

--Prosecutors have dropped a battery charge against Dolphins safety Jonathan Amaya, clearing the third-year player of allegations that he choked a cab driver in November.

According to public record, Miami-Dade prosecutors notified the court on Jan. 11 that their office would not proceed with the case, the Miami Herald reported.

--Tony Sparano is headed to the Oakland Raiders as their assistant head coach and offensive line coach, ESPN reported.

Before landing the Raiders' job, Sparano interviewed with several other teams, including the Kansas City Chiefs, for coaching vacancies after one year with the New York Jets. Sparano was fired by the Jets after the 2012 season in which the team's offense ranked No. 30 in the NFL.

---New Orleans coach Sean Payton never considered leaving the Saints for another team during his suspension from the NFL, he said.

Payton served his time and has returned from his yearlong exile as a result of the bounty case against the Saints. He was interviewed extensively for the first time in a year in Mobile, Ala., where he was watching players in the Senior Bowl

"There was no way I was going to another team," Payton said. "The issue was a minor technicality. There was a clause [in the contract] that wasn't approved."

---New Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski won't commit to Brandon Weeden as the team's starting quarterback in 2013, and new offensive coordinator Norv Turner wouldn't even commit to the type of offense the Browns will run.

While Chudzinski said players can adjust to the system, Turner didn't want to "label" his offense. Turner, who once hired Chudzinski with the San Diego Chargers, has been known as a preeminent disciple of the West Coast Offense.

---The leaders of the watchdog group that oversees minority hiring in the NFL has asked the league to expand the Rooney Rule, which requires teams with a head coaching or general manager vacancy to interview at least one minority candidate.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance is asking that the Rooney Rule cover not only GM and head coaching vacancies, but most all vacancies for offensive and defensive coordinator positions. The request comes after eight head coaching jobs and seven general manager vacancies were recently filled -- none by minorities.

--San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore has been fined $10,500 for wearing his socks too low during the NFC Championship Game.

This is the second time Gore has been fined this year. He previously was fined the same amount, $10,500, for throwing a ball into the crowd against the Arizona Cardinals in the regular season finale.

--Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman heads into the offseason knowing that his long-term future with the team is uncertain, despite throwing for more than 4,000 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2012.

Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik told the Tampa Tribune that the team has no plans to give the 25-year-old Freeman an extension and that a quarterback likely will be added through free agency or the draft.

Freeman's contract expires after next year.

---Five finalists for the Byron "Whizzer" White Award were announced. Charlie Batch of the Steelers, the Vikings' Chad Greenway, Charles Tillman of the Bears, the Browns' Benjamin Watson and Jason Witten of the Cowboys have been recognized for their charity work off the field as well as their play on the field.

A panel of peers selects the five finalists and the winner gets $100,000 for his charity. The winner will be announced next week in New Orleans.
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