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Sports

Notes: NFL eyes bigger playoffs, longer PATs

The NFL will discuss expanded playoffs at the owners’ meetings next month in Atlanta.

Commissioner Roger Goodell told a gathering of Associated Press Sports Editors on Thursday that a vote is uncertain on the proposal to add two teams to the postseason. Should the owners vote on the increase in May, Goodell said the 14-team playoffs could be implemented for the upcoming season, or for 2015.

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If no vote is taken, then 2015 would be the target for expanded playoffs, with a vote possible in October or next March.

The league also would need to consult with the players union on the matter, but it seems clear more playoff teams are on the way.

‘‘We’re being very deliberate about it,’’ Goodell said. ‘‘We want to make sure we do it in the right way.’’

The NFL also will experiment with snapping the ball from the 15-yard line on extra points in the first two weeks of the preseason to make them more challenging. A kick from that distance would wind up being about 33 yards. Previously, the plan had been to experiment with moving kicks back to the 20.

The league announced that it had hired the sons of two current officials: field judge Brad Freeman, the son of back judge Steve Freeman, a former player with Buffalo; and field judge Shawn Hochuli, son of referee Ed Hochuli.

Kosar cries foul

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Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar believes he’s been unfairly sacked as a TV color commentator on Cleveland’s preseason games. The Browns said he was being replaced by Solomon Wilcots, who will work with play-by-play announcer Jim Donovan. Kosar contends he’s been removed by the team because of slurred speech he attributes to ‘‘a direct result of the many concussions I received while playing in the NFL.’’ The 50-year-old Kosar estimates he has had more than a dozen documented concussions. He has been in pain for more than a decade, but said last year he found some relief through treatments at a wellness facility in Florida. Kosar played for Cleveland from 1985-92 and retired in 1996. The gangly quarterback from Boardman, Ohio, led Cleveland to three AFC title games. He remains one of Cleveland’s most beloved sports figures . . . The Cowboys added another quarterback with starting experience in Caleb Hanie. The signing gives the Cowboys three quarterbacks behind Tony Romo. Kyle Orton was Romo’s backup last year, and Dallas signed Brandon Weeden last month. Hanie, who didn’t play last year, spent four seasons with Chicago after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2008 . . . Cornerback Marcus Trufant, who did not play in 2013, officially retired after signing a one-day contract with Seattle so that he could retire as a Seahawk. He played 10 seasons in the NFL.

No Jills this season

The Buffalo Bills will be playing without the support of their official cheerleaders this year. Stephanie Mateczun, whose company manages the Buffalo Jills, said she has suspended operations through at least the end of the season. The decision was made two days after five former Jills filed a lawsuit complaining they worked hundreds of hours for free, and were subjected to groping and sexual comments. The Bills are aware of the Jills’ decision to suspend operations, but otherwise declined comment. Lawyer Frank Dolce, who represents the five cheerleaders, said the decision to suspend operations won’t affect his case because it addresses past complaints. Cheerleaders have launched similar suits against the Oakland Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals . . . The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office referred the airport arrest of San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith to the Los Angeles city attorney’s office for misdemeanor consideration. Smith was arrested April 13 at Los Angeles International Airport. The 24-year-old player was randomly selected for a secondary screening and became uncooperative with the process, telling a TSA agent that he had a bomb.

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