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NFL notebook

Lynch to plead guilty in accident

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Associated Press / June 21, 2008

Bills running back Marshawn Lynch is expected to plead guilty next week to an unspecified charge stemming from a hit-and-run accident involving his SUV, Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark said yesterday in Buffalo.

Clark declined to detail the charge but said a tentative plea agreement assumes Lynch was driving his 2008 Porsche Cayenne when it hit a woman crossing a Buffalo intersection early May 31, leaving the victim with a bruised hip and in need of stitches.

There was one other person in the SUV at the time, Clark said. He would not say who it was.

The announcement of an "agreement in principle" between lawyers came as a grand jury was scheduled to begin hearing testimony in the case. Several Bills players and front-office employees were subpoenaed by investigators frustrated by Lynch's refusal to speak with them.

The prosecutor said he does not fault Lynch for exercising his right to stay silent, but acknowledged that his office and the Buffalo police could have used the nearly three weeks spent on the headline-grabbing Lynch case on more serious crimes.

"This, at its worst, is a vehicle and traffic misdemeanor. In the hierarchy of criminal conduct, this is certainly in the bottom third," he said.

Lynch, 22, was the Bills' first-round draft pick in 2007. His lawyer, Michael Caffery, did not immediately respond to Clark's announcement. Earlier in the day he said by phone he was working toward a resolution. A message left with the player's agent was not immediately returned.

Clark said Lynch, who left town after a Bills minicamp last week, is expected to appear in a Buffalo courtroom in the middle of next week.

Although the accident has been under investigation since the end of May, plea negotiations began moving quickly forward late last week after Bills team lawyers got involved, according to Clark. Bills chief operating officer Russ Brandon was among those served with a subpoena.

ESPN, NFL in talks

The NFL Network and Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN are in talks about forming a partnership, The Wall Street Journal reported. A deal could end a long standoff between the league and cable carriers, some of whom said the NFL was asking them to pay too much for its programming.

The NFL's discussions with Disney are being led by Steven Bornstein, the head of the NFL's cable network who is also a previous chairman of ESPN and president of the ABC network, which is also owned by Disney, the Journal reported.

ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys declined to comment on the report but said the network has "a long-term and extensive relationship with the NFL and to that end we are always in discussions with them about mutual projects."

The NFL had tried to enhance the appeal of its own cable channel by withholding a number of live games from traditional broadcasts and reserving them for its own network.

Summerall recovering

Sports broadcaster Pat Summerall was recovering from emergency surgery to stop internal bleeding, his wife said. Cheri Summerall said her 78-year-old husband was resting comfortably in a Dallas-area hospital. Doctors told her that a new medicine he had recently started taking caused a reaction that induced the bleeding. The surgery was Thursday . . . The New York Giants got the first of their draft picks under contract, signing defensive end Robert Henderson of Southern Mississippi. Henderson was the second of the team's picks in the sixth round. Contract terms were not immediately available.

Foreclosure for Jones

A foreclosure sale has been published involving the home of former Tennessee Titan Adam "Pacman" Jones in Franklin, Tenn.

Jones has defaulted on the terms and conditions of a mortgage with U.S. Bank, according to a notice of foreclosure sale published in The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville.

The home and 30 acres, located in the Nashville suburb, will be sold next Friday on the steps of the old Williamson County Courthouse.

Jones, a cornerback, was traded to the Dallas Cowboys this year.

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