For the first time since 1964, New York will not host the NFL draft in 2015.
According to Sam Farmar of the Los Angeles Times, Roger Goodell told reporters on Thursday that New York was considered but ultimately was ruled out. The prospective location has been narrowed down to either Chicago or Los Angeles for next year's draft.
“We’re focusing solely on Los Angeles and Chicago now,” Goodell said.
The decision to drop New York from consideration was made when Radio City Music Hall, the event’s usual venue, couldn’t offer available dates in April or May. The draft is expected to take place either April 22-25 or April 29-May 2.
Goodell did not give a timeframe on when the league will choose between the two cities.
“We had 12 cities that were interested,” Goodell said. “We felt the best thing to do was to focus on the three cities, because they had such a tremendous interest. There are very attractive aspects to each of those cities. Because we don’t have the appropriate dates in May our focus is completely on Los Angeles and Chicago. They both have tremendous bids.”
Though the draft has recently been a three-day event, the NFL has given thought to expanding it to four days starting next year.
49ers: Staley signs two-year extension
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers showed off their new home in style Thursday while quietly making a move to protect quarterback Colin Kaepernick's blindside.
After an extravagant ribbon-cutting ceremony to open Levi's Stadium, the 49ers announced left tackle Joe Staley has signed a two-year contract extension that will run through the 2019 season.
The 29-year-old Staley, who had wanted a new deal this offseason, was among the players at the event.
"We both felt it was time to get something done, and what I'm most excited about is the opportunity to play my whole entire career as a San Francisco 49er," Staley said later on a conference call with reporters. "That was one of my goals that I set out to do as a rookie coming into the NFL -- make an NFL roster, become a starter, win a Super Bowl and play my whole entire career with one team.
"So very excited for the opportunity to do that and really grateful for the 49ers allowing me that opportunity. Now it's really just time to go work on that Super Bowl."
Staley's extension is the latest move in a busy offseason that has seen some of San Francisco's biggest offensive contributors get new deals -- and others take strong measures in hopes of getting one.
Last month, the 49ers rewarded Kaepernick with a six-year extension worth up to $126 million. Tight end Vernon Davis and right guard Alex Boone, though, have held out of the team's voluntary offseason workout program and mandatory minicamp despite two years left on their current contracts (see full story).
-The Associated Press
Titans: Taylor Lewan to go to trial in fan-punching case
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Tennessee Titans rookie Taylor Lewan will go to trial in October on charges he punched an Ohio State fan.
The former Michigan offensive tackle is accused of hitting the fan after the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines last season. He is charged with one count of aggravated assault and two counts of assault and battery.
He was told during a pretrial hearing Thursday to return to Ann Arbor District Court on Oct. 27 for jury selection. The trial could begin the next morning.
The Titans will not be preparing that week for a game, minimizing the possible impact of Lewan being back near his college campus. Lewan, drafted No. 11 overall, is one of three players drafted this year without a contract.
Lewan and the Titans declined to comment after the pretrial hearing. When asked about the possibility of a plea bargain, Lewan's attorney, John Shea, said: "Who knows what the future holds?" He is "assuming" the case will be decided by jurors. (see full story)
-The Associated Press