First-down marker at 3rd and long

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First-down marker at 3rd and long

NFL considers permanently projecting 1st-down line
The NFL is considering a laser system that would be attached to the first-down markers on both sides and would project a contrasting light green line across the field. The system would work in accord with the chain gang but is designed to provide a more accurate focal point in terms of measurements.
Sean Payton cleared to return to the Saints

NEW YORK – Sean Payton is back as coach of the New Orleans Saints.

Payton’s season-long suspension for his role in the Saints’ bounty program was lifted by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday, nearly two weeks earlier than expected.

The decision allows Payton to attend the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Saturday, where some of the top college players available for the NFL draft will be competing.

Payton, along with assistant head coach Joe Vitt, general manager Mickey Loomis, and four players, was suspended after an investigation found the club had a performance pool offering cash rewards for key plays, including big hits. The player suspensions eventually were overturned.

The suspension was scheduled to end after the Super Bowl on Feb. 3 but was moved up after Payton and Goodell met Monday.





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DENVER – The Denver Broncos signed cornerback Mario Butler and wide receiver Greg Orton to future contracts.

Butler spent the second half of the 2012 season on Denver’s practice squad after playing in one game for Dallas.

Orton also was on the Broncos’ practice squad last season.





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HONOLULU – The NFL is hoping to decide the fate of the Pro Bowl by the time it releases next season’s schedule in April. And the fate of the league’s all-star game largely will depend on how much effort this year’s Pro Bowlers put into the game.

NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson said Tuesday the league expects players to play with the same intensity that made them Pro Bowl picks in the first place.

Commissioner Roger Goodell nearly canceled the game after uninspiring play last year, but it will be held Sunday at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu after discussions between the league and the player’s union.





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NEW YORK – After minority candidates recently were shut out by NFL teams for 15 top jobs, the Fritz Pollard Alliance wants the Rooney Rule to include coordinators, assistant head coaches and club president positions.

The proposal sent Tuesday to league executives came a week after no minorities were hired for eight coaching vacancies and seven general manager openings. There only are four minority head coaches going into the 2013 season, the fewest since 2003.

First-down marker at 3rd and long

The NFL is considering a laser system that would be attached to the first-down markers on both sides and would project a contrasting light green line across the field. The system would work in accord with the chain gang but is designed to provide a more accurate focal point in terms of measurements.
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