NFL Players Association executive director receives big bonus

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A person with knowledge of the payout says the NFL Players Association has given executive director DeMaurice Smith a $1 million bonus.

The bonus was paid solely at the discretion of the union, the person says on condition of anonymity because the payment was not announced.

Smith was hired in March 2009 to replace the late Gene Upshaw.

Smith never asked about the bonus, the person says, but the union’s executive committee voted to give it to him after he led the players through the 4½ month lockout that ended in late July.

The Sports Business Daily originally reported the amount of the bonus.

CONCUSSIONS: The NFL is changing how it handles concussion examinations after Browns quarterback Colt McCoy went back into a Dec. 8 game without being tested for one.

A certified athletic trainer, paid by the league, will be at each game to monitor play and provide medical staffs with “any relevant information that may assist them in determining the most appropriate evaluation and treatment,” the NFL said in a statement Wednesday. The trainers will not diagnose nor prescribe treatment and can’t order that players be removed from a game.

RAMS: Rookie wide receiver Austin Pettis has been suspended for four games for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.

Pettis, a third-round pick out of Boise State, has made three starts and has 27 catches for 256 yards, a 9.5-yard average.

He’ll be eligible to return after the Rams’ second game next season.

BEARS: Quarterback Josh McCown will start an NFL game for the first time in four years when he lines up behind center for the Bears against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.

The Bears said Wednes­day that McCown will replace the struggling Caleb Hanie. McCown hasn’t started a game since Dec. 23, 2007, for Oakland against Jacksonville. He was out of the NFL last season.


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