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Panthers' Newton won't comment on Bountygate

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- If Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has any resentment toward the New Orleans Saints he isn't making it public.

Newton downplayed being one of a handful of quarterbacks the NFL said was at the centre of the Saints' bounty scandal. He will face New Orleans on Sunday in Charlotte for the first time since the NFL levied fines and suspensions against the Saints.

"I'm not going to speak on something that was last year," Newton said, quickly dismissing the topic. "That was last year, and I'm going to keep it at that."

Newton said the Panthers have plenty enough incentive this week following their season-opening 16-10 loss Sunday to Tampa Bay.

The Panthers were fifth in the league in scoring last season averaging more than 25 points per game, so last week's dud was particularly difficult to swallow. Newton was 23 of 33 for 303 yards passing but was intercepted twice.

 

Bills get lease extension

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Stalled lease negotiations have led to the Buffalo Bills and Erie County favouring a one-year lease extension that would allow the team to keep playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium next season while talks continue on a long-term deal.

County executive Mark Poloncarz announced Wednesday that he and the Bills have agreed in principle to extend the lease if necessary if a new deal is not in place once the current one expires July 31. Poloncarz's announcement came after Bills CEO Russ Brandon raised concerns about the lack of progress in negotiations to reach a long-term deal.

"By doing an extension, it guarantees the Bills are here for the full 2013 season, and it gives us ample time during the next 18 months or so to continue these negotiations," said Poloncarz.

The Bills are also negotiating with Rogers Communications to renew a five-year series of home games Buffalo plays in Toronto.

 

Johnson formally charged

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Six-time Pro Bowl receiver Chad Johnson has been formally charged with one count of misdemeanour domestic battery.

The Broward State Attorney's Office filed the charge Wednesday. Johnson faces up to a year in county jail.

Johnson was arrested last month after his wife accused him of head-butting her during an argument in front of their home. He was later freed on US$2,500 bond.

The confrontation came barely a month after Johnson married Evelyn Lozada, who is on the reality TV show Basketball Wives. The 34-year-old Johnson had been battling for a spot on the Miami Dolphins after a disappointing season with the New England Patriots in 2011.

The Dolphins released Johnson a day after his arrest.

 

Britt back on gridiron

NASHVILLE -- Kenny Britt is on the field once again for the Tennessee Titans, back both from a torn right ACL and three different knee surgeries and a one-game suspension by the NFL.

How much he helps remains to be seen.

Britt tore both his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligament early in the Titans' third game last season.

 

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 13, 2012 C4

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