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PRESS BOX: Jets owner likes idea of expanded NFL playoffs

The SportsXchange

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson is the latest to voice his approval of expanding the NFL playoffs.

The Jets last made the playoffs in the 2010 season when they played in the AFC Championship game for the second straight year.

"There are good arguments on both sides, and I haven't gone into it in maybe the depth that we will," Johnson said this week, according to the Newark Star Ledger. "We're going to study it hard. But I kind of like it. I kind of like the idea of more playoff games. We're still below other sports (in the number of teams that qualify for the playoffs)."

The Jets have gone 8-8, 6-10 and 8-8 in the last three years since their last playoff appearance. That is two games worse than the Dallas Cowboys, whose owner Jerry Jones is also in favor of adding more teams to the playoffs.

"From the standpoint of looking at how exciting it is for a city or a community to be involved in the playoffs and the fact that you can have a team that might have literally operated at .500 or in that area ... you can have that team win the Super Bowl," Jones said in January. "That makes a big case for adding a couple of more cities or communities that have NFL teams to the playoffs.

"It just creates that much more excitement and that much more interest for people in those communities. So I fall on the side of the ledger that would increase the playoffs."

Last week, Pittsburgh Steelers president/co-owner Art Rooney II told Sports Business Daily that the team's ownership is open to playoff expansion.

"We're interested in looking at it," he said. "From the Pittsburgh perspective, we have an open mind about it. One more playoff game in the opening round would allow more fans to be alive in the competing cities."

Commissioner Roger Goodell said in May that he believes owners will approve expanding the postseason starting in the 2015 season.

"I think we want to see one more year of 'Will it impact the regular season in a positive way, from a competitive standpoint?' Will it create more excitement, more races toward the end?" Goodell said. "... And we also want to absorb the additional inventory into the marketplace, from an advertising standpoint. ...

"I spoke to (NFLPA president DeMaurice Smith) about it two weeks ago. I think there's a lot of benefits to the players. That's something they'll have to evaluate. ... I do believe this is a real benefit to the players. The revenue, obviously, will increase, and they share in that."

---Former NFL standout wide receiver Chad Johnson made his CFL debut Friday night in a preseason game with the Montreal Alouettes.

Johnson caught one pass for 13 yards from former NFL quarterback Troy Smith in the Alouettes' 26-10 loss to the Ottawa RedBlacks.

"It felt good," Johnson said. "Nervous, butterflies. It was cool. A little sloppy, I have a lot of work to do, but it felt good. It felt good to be on the field again. It was fun."

NBA

The Los Angeles Lakers are involved in trade talks involving Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love, according to reports.

The discussions include the Lakers sending the No. 7 draft pick to the Golden State Warriors for guard Klay Thompson. The Warriors would then send that pick to the Timberwolves for Love.

ESPN.com reported that the deal also involves the Warriors sending power forward David Lee to the Timberwolves for guard Kevin Martin.

---Memphis Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph can opt out of his contract and become a free agent July 1, but indications are that he intends to stay with the team.

Randolph has an option worth $16.9 million for next season but general manager Chris Wallace told the Commercial Appeal that even if he opts out, the team is prepared to work out a new deal to retain him.

Randolph averaged 17.4 points and 10 rebounds per game last season.

NHL

The Florida Panthers named Gerard Gallant as head coach on Saturday.

Gallant spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens.

Gallant spent parts of three seasons as the Columbus Blue Jackets' coach. He was also an assistant with the Blue Jackets and New York Islanders.

CFB

Former Alabama running back Alvin Kamara announced via Twitter that he is transferring to Tennessee.

Kamara was a highly touted recruit coming out of high school in 2013. It was initially reported that Kamara would not be allowed to transfer within the SEC, but that restriction was lifted.

Kamara initially said he would transfer to a junior college and return to the FBS level in 2015. Instead, he will likely sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules.

SOCCER

U.S. women's goalkeeper Hope Solo was arrested Saturday morning on two counts of domestic assault, according to The Seattle Times.

Solo, 32, was being held without bail at a jail in South King County in Washington.

The Olympic gold medalist struck her sister and nephew during an argument with relatives at a family party, according to police. The alleged altercation took place at the home Solo shares with her husband, former NFL player Jerramy Stevens, in Kirkland.
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