If the Vikings don't use one of their first two picks on a cornerback to help replace Antoine…
NFL says no violation in combine questions
Colorado tight end Nick Kasa and other players said they were asked about their sexual orientation, but did not identify by which teams or what questions they asked. The NFL's investigation found no such improper questioning.
"Our review has not established any specific violations," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Thursday, "but we have made it clear to our clubs what is acceptable when interviewing potential players and other job candidates."
The issue was discussed at last month's owners meetings and Commissioner Roger Goodell said that if such questions were asked, "that's unacceptable."
"We will do things the right way," Goodell said then. "We will give them that education and that training. I hope that that will solve the problem."
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson and Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell also said they were asked about their sexual orientation during an informal period at the combine when the players met with most of the 32 clubs.
Although no teams were found to have broken from league policies, the NFL would take action if it receives new information establishing a violation was committed.
Last month, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman urged the league to investigate the alleged questioning, which he said would be illegal in New York. Discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal in New York and in at least 23 other states where the NFL's 32 teams are based.
VIKINGS PART OF NATIONAL TV SCHEDULE
The Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens and the team they beat, the San Francisco 49ers, each will make one national TV appearance during the NFL preseason this summer.
The Ravens play the third of their four-game preseason schedule on Thursday night, Aug. 22, hosting Carolina on ESPN. San Francisco concludes its exhibition schedule with a home game against Minnesota on Sunday night, Aug. 25 on NBC.
Earlier that afternoon, New Orleans visits Houston on Fox.
Dallas plays Miami in the Hall of Fame game on Sunday night, Aug. 4 on NBC to open the preseason. Other highlights among nationally televised games are Pittsburgh at Washington on Aug. 19, and Seattle at Green Bay on Aug. 23.
Every 2012 playoff team will appear in a nationally televised preseason game.
Jason Hanson wanted to keep on kicking. His body told him to stop.
The Detroit Lions kicker is retiring after 21 seasons, announcing his decision Thursday. The 42-year-old Hanson thought about returning, but problems with his heel prompted him to call it a career.
"It's time," Hanson said. "I gave serious thought and consideration to playing in 2013. While the determination and willpower are still there, the wear and tear on my body, especially the issues I had and still have with my heel, have convinced me that it's time to retire."
Hanson became the first player to play 300 games with one franchise, finishing with 327. He also set an NFL record last year when he played his 21st season with the same team.
Hanson made a record 52 field goals from at least 50 yards. He's third on the career scoring list at 2,150 points and third in field goals with 495. Hanson is the only player with 2,000 points for one franchise.
"Jason Hanson is the gold standard," Lions President Tom Lewand said. "He had an exemplary, Hall of Fame-worthy career on the field, and for those of us fortunate to know him well, he is an even better person, teammate, friend, husband and father."
Hanson joined such players as Jerry Rice, George Blanda, Morten Andersen, Gary Anderson and Vinny Testaverde with 21 pro seasons.
It's already a big sports weekend for Michigan teams. The Detroit Tigers play their home opener Friday, and Michigan is at the Final Four in Atlanta. But by the time Tuesday rolls around, Hanson should have more of the spotlight to himself.
Hanson joined the Lions in 1992, the year after they reached the NFC Championship Game. He played in six postseason games — all losses — and endured the team's 0-16 performance of 2008.
But his perseverance was rewarded in 2011 when the Lions made the playoffs for the first time in a dozen years.
"I look forward to my press conference next Tuesday where I can publicly thank so many people who have played such a big part in my career," Hanson said. "You all helped me along this journey and I am forever grateful."
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