Jury sides with Beason
The NFL notebook…
CHARLOTTE ó Carolina Panthers linebacker Jon Beason won a civil suit Thursday brought by a man who accused the three-time Pro Bowl pick of punching him in the face at a Charlotte strip club.
After five hours of deliberations over two days, the jury of eight women and four men determined Beason did not strike Gregory Frye nearly two years ago. The jury also ruled Frye slandered Beason and awarded Beason $1 in damages.
ěIt was fair. Itís been a long time coming, almost two years,î Beason said outside the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. ěThe thing for us people in the public eye, once somebody says something, a percentage of people are going to believe it. Thatís the thing that was the most troubling, to sleep with.
ěHopefully, this will be blown up the same way it was when it happened and people will have their normal impression of me.î
The suit stemmed from a November 2009 incident at the Uptown Cabaret, hours after Carolina beat Atlanta at nearby Bank of America Stadium.
The 26-year-old Beason testified during the weeklong trial he confronted Frye for telling other patrons he once saw Beason snorting cocaine at a party. Beason, who says heís never used illegal drugs or failed an NFL drug test, said he attempted to take a swing at Frye, but was held back by friends and didnít hit him.
CENTENNIAL, Colo. ó Tim Tebow was focused more on camaraderie than competition when he joined a dozen Denver Broncos teammates for an informal offseason workout Thursday.
The second-year player tossed some tight spirals to receiver Britt Davis, flew through a series of wind sprints and did some light stretching, enjoying being back in the company of his colleagues after weeks of training on his own in Florida.
ěI had a good workout and enjoyed it,î he said.
Fellow quarterback Kyle Orton wasnít among the Broncos who showed up at the South Suburban Sports Dome for the sessions organized by safety Brian Dawkins. The Broncos list Orton atop the depth chart but maintain the position is up for grabs whenever the NFL labor situation is resolved.
Tebow was hardly concerned about the looming quarterback competition, simply saying the situation will sort itself out in time.
ěYou hope he does good, because the better he does, hopefully the better Iíll do, and vice versa,î Tebow said. ěIíve always relished the opportunity to compete my whole life. I think it will make me better.î
Tebow, who was in New York last week for an event in his role as a Jockey spokesman, has taken some heat for working out on his own during the NFL lockout instead of in the Mile High City. Thatís something he quickly dismissed.
ěThat doesnít bother me if Iím not in front of the cameras working out,î he said. ěI honestly would rather not be.î
NEW YORK ó New York Giants co-owner John Mara is warning that the playersí strategy in the labor impasse, if successful, would lead to NFL chaos.
Mara wrote an essay that was posted Thursday on nfl.com and giants.com in which he pointed to no salary caps or minimums and perhaps no draft.
ěThe likely changes would be great for NFLPA lawyers, but not for players, teams, or, most importantly, fans,î Mara wrote. ěFor example, there could be no league-wide minimum player salaries, with many players making less than they do today, or no minimum team player costs, with many clubs cutting payrolls the way some teams do in other sports.
Other bedrock components of the NFLís competitiveness, such as the draft, would be called into question and assailed as antitrust violations.