An email chain released in court shows Atlanta Falcons officials in 2010 were worried about the team's ''excessive'' reliance on painkillers to treat players and the potential embarrassment that could cause.
The officials expressed concerned over a review that found the team spent $81,000 on prescriptions for medications for players in 2009 - nearly three times the league average.
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Nearly every recipient on the email chain - from Blank, president Rich McKay and general manager Thomas Dimitroff to then-head athletic trainer Marty Lauzon - is still with the team, which plays New England in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
The emails were entered into the court record Thursday as part of a proposed class-action lawsuit by former NFL players.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) The San Francisco 49ers are suing former star pass rusher Aldon Smith for more than $340,000 in signing bonus money.
According to the suit filed in U.S. District Court, Smith was obligated to re-pay the Niners for part of his signing bonus after being suspended nine games in 2014 for failing a drug test.
The suit says Smith has paid $844,396.82 of the $1,186,027 that he owed the team. The 49ers are seeking $341,630.18.
Smith was released by the Niners after an arrest in August 2015 and joined the Oakland Raiders. He was suspended in November 2015 for violating the league's substance abuse policy and is still seeking reinstatement.
Smith's agent did not immediately return a request for comment.
The NCAA and helmet maker Riddell are defendants in separate class-action lawsuits alleging they failed to protect football players from long-term head injuries and didn't educate them about the risks.
The lawsuits were filed Monday in federal courts in Indianapolis and San Francisco and seek damages for health care costs, lost wages and other personal injury damages. Riddell called the called the claims ''meritless'' and ''sensationalized allegations.''
The Big 12 Conference was listed as co-defendant with the NCAA. Named plaintiffs are former players Cory Brandon (Oklahoma), Kelvin Chaisson (Oklahoma), Derrick Cherry (Texas Tech), Jarrod Blake Roberts (TCU) and Joe Walker (Texas).
The Riddell lawsuit alleges the helmet maker misrepresented the safety of its helmets. The firm said all plaintiffs in the cases suffer from some degree of traumatic brain injuries from multiple concussions or serious jolts to the head that don't meet the diagnosis of concussion and all were incurred while playing football.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles police say burglars got away with more than $300,000 worth of jewelry from the home of former Lakers guard Derek Fisher.
Officer Drake Madison says the burglary happened Monday morning at the house in the Tarzana neighborhood.
The home was unoccupied at the time.
Madison says he doesn't know if the suspects got away with any of Fisher's NBA championship rings.
Fisher won five titles with the Lakers. He coached the New York Knicks from 2014-2016.
IAAF DOPING INVESTIGATION
LONDON (AP) - IAAF President Sebastian Coe's former right-hand man was expelled from athletics' governing body after admitting to concealing cash payments during the scandal-plagued previous administration. But Nick Davies was cleared of corruption and allowed to continue working in athletics and at IAAF events.
The senior IAAF official was found to have misled investigators from the World Anti-Doping Agency, French judicial authorities and the IAAF over the 30,000 euros (now $32,000) received ahead of the 2013 world championships.
The payments from then-president Lamine Diack came via his son Papa Massata Diack, a former marketing consultant at the IAAF who was last year banned for life from the sport in a bribery and extortion case involving Russian doping. Both father and son are being investigated by French prosecutors on corruption charges linked to cover-ups of Russian doping cases.
Davies served as communications director and deputy secretary general under Diack and, after Coe's election in 2015, was promoted to director of the president's office. The IAAF ethics panel accepted that Davies did not act corruptly and was not part of a cover-up of Russian doping cases but did criticize him for deceiving the probe.
MOSCOW (AP) - A Russian bobsledder who won a gold medal at the 2014 Olympics has been banned for four years for doping.
Dmitry Trunenkov, who won the four-man bobsled at the Sochi Games, tested positive last year and has been banned by the Russian Bobsled Federation, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency said.
The ban won't affect his Olympic gold medal.
Trunenkov said the banned anabolic steroid stanozolol was found in his sample, but denied doping and said he would consult lawyers about a possible appeal. He also suggested the test was faked to discredit Russian sports.