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    Marlin Briscoe, the first Black starting quarterback in the American Football League, has died at the age of 76. Briscoe's daughter, Angela Marriott, told The Associated Press that he died of pneumonia at a hospital in Norwalk, California on Monday. Briscoe was a star quarterback at Omaha University before the Denver Broncos drafted him as a cornerback in the 14th round in 1968. He told the team he wanted a tryout at quarterback. Denver agreed to an audition, and the 5-foot-10 dynamo nicknamed “The Magician” ended up starting five games that year.

      A lawsuit alleges the Houston Texans had been told that their former quarterback Deshaun Watson was sexually assaulting and harassing women during massage sessions, but instead of trying to stop him, the team provided him with resources to enable his actions and “turned a blind eye” to his behavior. The lawsuit against the team was filed in Houston on Monday by one of the 24 women who had previously sued Watson over allegations of sexual misconduct when he played for the Texans. In a statement, the Houston Texans said the team would “take the necessary steps to address the allegations against our organization." Watson is set to have a hearing this week over whether he will be disciplined by the NFL.

        Five-time All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly is returning to the Carolina Panthers as a member of its radio broadcast team. A seven-time Pro Bowler who retired in 2020, Kuechly will be joining play-by-play announcer Anish Shroff and either Jordan Gross or Jake Delhomme for seven games this season. Kuechly will be in the booth for six home games against the Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers and one road game at the Cincinnati Bengals. Jim Szoke will continue to act as the third man in the booth for the games Kuechly doesn’t do.

          Three people familiar with the meeting tell AP that Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will have a hearing with NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson next week. Watson is facing a potential suspension from the league stemming from accusations of sexual misconduct by massage therapists in Texas. He will meet with Robinson on Tuesday, said the persons who spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the hearing have not been disclosed publicly. ESPN earlier reported Watson’s meeting with Robinson, who was jointly appointed by the league and NFL Players Association. This is the first case the former federal judge has heard. Earlier this week, Watson reached undisclosed financial settlements in civil lawsuits filed by 20 of his 24 accusers.

            The Chicago Bears have signed second-round draft pick Kyler Gordon to a four-year contract. The cornerback from Washington became the Bears’ first selection when they took him with the No. 39 overall pick. The Bears got a potential starter opposite Jaylon Johnson by taking the athletic and hard-hitting Gordon. A first-team, All-Pac-12 pick, he had 46 tackles and two interceptions to go with a team-high seven pass breakups in 12 starts last season. With Gordon under contract, the Bears’ only remaining unsigned draft pick is Jaquan Brisker. The safety from Penn State was taken in the second round at No. 48 overall.

            Chicago Police say Bears linebacker Matt Adams was arrested and charged with misdemeanor firearm possession. Police say they recovered a weapon during a search of his vehicle in downtown Chicago on Thursday evening. He was also cited for possessing a high-capacity magazine within the city limits and metal-piercing bullets, a municipal code violation. Adams has a court date scheduled for Aug. 24. The Bears say they were made aware of the arrest Friday morning and are “gathering more information.” Adams signed with Chicago in April after spending his first four seasons in Indianapolis and followed new coach Matt Eberflus to the Bears. Eberflus spent the past four seasons as the Colts’ defensive coordinator.

            A decision regarding discipline for Deshaun Watson is still expected before training camp, though the league has yet to conclude its investigation and turn it over to a disciplinary officer, according to two people with knowledge of the case. Both people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Friday because the investigation is ongoing. The Cleveland Browns open training camp on July 22 for rookies with veterans due on July 26. Once the NFL completes its investigation, former U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson, who was jointly appointed by the league and the players’ union, will review the findings to decide whether Watson violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy and whether to impose discipline.

            Tennessee tight end Chig Okonkwo has a really good reason not to be working with the rest of the Titans’ rookies as they wrap up their offseason at the team headquarters. Okonkwo had somewhere better to be. It's called Tight End University. Okonkwo said Thursday it's just so amazing to be able to learn from so many Pro Bowl tight ends. Tight End U is back for a second straight year in Music City. That's the offseason home of San Francisco tight end George Kittle who first devised this three-day camp with Travis Kelce of the Chiefs and Greg Olsen.

            The Patriots have completed signing their 2022 draft class, inking contracts with first-round pick Cole Strange, second-round pick Tyquan Thornton and fourth-round pick Bailey Zappe. Terms of the deals were not released. New England previously reached agreements with the other seven members of its class. Strange was a five-year starter on the offensive line for Chattanooga. He was taken 29th overall and is expected to have a chance start as a rookie this upcoming season following the offseason trade of Shaq Mason and free agency departure of Ted Karras.

            Hugh McElhenny, the elusive Hall of Fame halfback who starred in the San Francisco 49ers’ “Million Dollar Backfield” in the mid-1950s, has died. He was 93. The Pro Football Hall of Fame said Thursday that McEhlenny died of natural causes June 17 at his home in Nevada, and that son-in-law Chris Permann confirmed the death. Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970, McElhenny was part of the “Million Dollar Backfield” with quarterback Y. A. Tittle, halfback John Henry Johnson and fullback Joe Perry — also all Hall of Famers. McElhenny starred in college at Washington, was drafted ninth overall by the 49ers in 1952 and also played for Minnesota, the New York Giants and Detroit in his 13-year NFL career.

            A U.S. House committee says Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder conducted a “shadow investigation” that sought to discredit former employees making accusations of workplace sexual harassment. The committee released a memo ahead of a hearing Wednesday. The Committee on Oversight and Reform is investigating the Commanders’ workplace culture following accusations of pervasive sexual harassment by team executives of women employees. Snyder declined to testify at the hearing, but the committee plans to issue a subpoena to compel a deposition. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told the committee that Snyder “has been held accountable."

            Tony Siragusa, the charismatic defensive tackle who helped lead a stout Baltimore defense to a Super Bowl title, died Wednesday. He was 55. Siragusa’s broadcast agent, Jim Ornstein, confirmed the death Wednesday. The cause of death was not immediately available. The man known as “the Goose" played seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and five with the Ravens. Baltimore’s 2000 team won the Super Bowl behind a defense that included Siragusa, Ray Lewis and Sam Adams. Siragusa was popular with fans because of his fun-loving personality, which also helped him transition to broadcasting after his playing career.

            Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson has died at age 26. Police said the cause of death is still to be determined but that no foul play is suspected at this time. Ferguson played three NFL seasons. All were with Baltimore. Ferguson set the college Football Bowl Subdivision career sacks record with 45 when he played at Louisiana Tech, and he was drafted by the Ravens in the third round in 2019. He played in 38 games as a pro and had 4 1/2 sacks. Ferguson was born Dec. 14, 1995, in St. Francisville, Louisiana. He played high school football and basketball at West Feliciana.

            The NFL and six of its teams have filed for arbitration in the lawsuit that alleges they engaged in racial discrimination. If the league’s request is successful, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would be the arbitrator. The league and the teams filed papers late Tuesday with a judge presiding over a lawsuit filed by Brian Flores after he was fired in January as head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Flores now works as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Two other Black coaches in the league joined his lawsuit, in which he alleges that the league engages in racist hiring practices — despite its claims to the contrary.

            The Washington Post has obtained a letter detailing a woman's accusations that Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder sexually harassed and assaulted her on a team plane in 2009. The woman was later paid $1.6 million by the team to settle her claims. An attorney working for the team argued in the letter that the woman's claims were not credible, and Snyder denied the allegations. The NFL is investigating a different woman's allegation that Snyder sexually harassed her when she worked for the team. A House committee is also looking into the team's workplace culture. Snyder has declined to testify before the committee.

            The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed veteran defensive end Larry Ogunjobi to a one-year deal. The signing shores up a position of need following Stephon Tuitt’s retirement earlier this month. The 28-year-old Ogunjobi spent last season with the Cincinnati Bengals. A tentative three-year agreement to play for the Chicago Bears was nullified when Ogunjobi failed a physical. He was recovering from foot surgery at the time of the signing. Ogunjobi played well last season for the Bengals, recording a career-high seven sacks. His arrival gives the Steelers another veteran to help shore up a run defense that finished dead last in the league in 2022.

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