PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Monday that Ben Roethlisberger spent the weekend in a clinic being evaluated as part of the sanctions handed down by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The newspaper cited an unidentified team source saying the evaluation will take days rather than weeks. Goodell suspended the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback six games without pay last month.

A Steelers spokesman said the team is prohibited by league rule from discussing Roethlisberger’s treatment. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said all details of the evaluation are confidential.

The two-time Super Bowl winner was ordered to undergo a “comprehensive behavioral evaluation by professionals” after violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Goodell announced the punishment a week after prosecutors decided not to charge Roethlisberger in a case involving a 20-year-old college student who accused the quarterback of sexually assaulting her in a Milledgeville, Ga., nightclub.

“I have talked to him,” Coach Mike Tomlin said Sunday, according to the report. “I will continue to talk to him, and I don’t have a crystal ball in regards to when he’s going to be back in the (Steelers’) facility. A lot of that has to do with the things he needs to do and of course the judgment of the commissioner.”


PATRIOTS: New England signed former Brown receiver Buddy Farnham as a rookie free agent. The 185-pound Farnham was selected co-Ivy League Player of the Year after finishing the season with 74 catches for 1,003 yards.


JAGUARS: Place-kicker Josh Scobee, a scratch golfer, is trying to qualify for the U.S. Open.

Scobee will tee off Monday in Jacksonville for the first round of qualifying for the U.S. Open. Depending on the number of entrants, Scobee has to finish in the top five or top three to advance to sectional qualifying.


SAINTS: All-Pro safety Darren Sharper is returning to New Orleans for a chance to repeat as Super Bowl champion in 2010.

“He’s real motivated to win another Super Bowl,” said Sharper’s agent, Joel Segal. “It’s rare to have that opportunity and he’s very excited.”

Saints GM Mickey Loomis also confirmed in an e-mail that Sharper, 34, had agreed to terms for one more season. He did not disclose financial terms.


COWBOYS: Unrestricted free agent guard Montrae Holland signed a two-year contract to stay with Dallas after being inactive last season.

Even though Holland didn’t play a game last season, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones indicated during the team’s rookie minicamp over the weekend that the eighth-year pro could help the team in its search for veteran offensive line depth. Dallas last month cut five-time Pro Bowl left tackle Flozell Adams.


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