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NFL looking to toughen penalties for domestic violence

The NFL is considering toughening its penalties for players who commit acts of domestic violence, including a potential one-year ban for a second offense, according to multiple people familiar with the league's recent deliberations.

The prospective new policy, if it is implemented, could establish guidelines for a suspension of four to six games without pay for a first offense and potentially a season-long suspension for a second incident, according to those with knowledge of the matter. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic and because no final decision has been made by the league on implementing the policy.

The contemplated changes, if they are made by the NFL, would come after the league and commissioner Roger Goodell have been criticized heavily for the two-game suspension imposed on Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for allegedly striking Janay Palmer, the woman who is now his wife.

"We need to have stricter penalties," said one person with knowledge of the league's deliberations on the matter. "I think you will see that. I believe the commissioner and others would like to see stricter penalties. We need to be more vigilant."

That person said Goodell and the league "tried to stick with precedent" from previous NFL disciplinary measures when deciding on the length of Rice's suspension.

The NFL declined to comment.

Two people with close ties to the NFL Players Association said the union was not involved in the talks.

-- The Washington Post

Lynch cleared

Police have cleared Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch in an assault and property damage case.

The Bellevue, Washington, police department issued a statement late Wednesday night saying Lynch wasn't involved and that the case remained open. The police department expressed appreciation for cooperation from Lynch and the Seahawks.

Quarterbacks Tony Romo of the Cowboys and Sam Bradford of the Rams on Saturday will play their first games since undergoing surgeries.

Romo, who had back surgery last December, will start the preseason game against the Ravens.

Bradford will face the Packers, his first major test since he tore his left anterior cruciate ligament last October.

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