The National Football League has begun investigating a possible relocation of the Super Bowl XLIX away from Arizona because of the state’s bill allowing businesses to deny service to gay couples. Just over 20 years ago, the NFL moved the 1993 Super Bowl from Phoenix after the state voted not to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day. “No one wants to do this, but if the league’s hand is forced, it would have to begin preparing for that process,” said an insider source to Sports Illlustrated. “If this doesn’t get vetoed, it has to know, what has to be done next? That discussion has begun.”
The Cleveland Browns released veteran linebacker D’Qwell Jackson and saved a $4.1 million roster bonus due March 15.
The move was the first major transaction for new general manager Ray Farmer.
Jackson, the Browns’ second-round pick in 2006 out of Maryland, is now free to sign with any NFL team. He started 96 games in eight seasons for the Browns.
—Banished by the NFL for violating the NFL’s drug policy, Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner will file a federal lawsuit against the league next week in Colorado.
According to multiple reports, Browner’s agent, Peter Schaffer, is scheduled to file the suit on his client’s behalf.
Browner hopes to be granted unrestricted free agent rights, claiming he wasn’t aware of his responsibility under the collective bargaining agreement to submit to three drug tests he missed while out of the league.
—The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported that the NFL is “strongly considering” taking the annual Pro Bowl game to Glendale, Ariz., from Honolulu next year to help raise its profile and generate more revenue.
The Pro Bowl is normally played a week before the Super Bowl, which is scheduled for Feb. 1, 2015, in University of Phoenix Stadium. That would leave Jan. 25, 2015, as a possible date for the NFL’s annual all-star game.
—The Tennessee Titans re-signed running back Jackie Battle to a one-year contract, keeping him from becoming an unrestricted free agent March 11.
Mainly a special teams player for the Titans, Battle had 36 rushing attempts for 142 yards during the 2013 season.