NFC Notes: Washington, Panthers, Rams, 49ers

On Wednesday morning, a federal judge in Virginia ordered the U.S. Patent Office to cancel registration of the Washington Redskins‘ trademark registrations, upholding an earlier ruling by the federal Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Responding to the news, team president Bruce Allen released a statement soon after.

“I am surprised by the judge’s decision to prevent us from presenting our evidence in an open trial,” Allen said in the statement (via “We look forward to winning on appeal after a fair and impartial review of the case. We are convinced that we will win because the facts and the law are on the side of our franchise that has proudly used the name Redskins for more than 80 years.”

No one expected Washington to roll over and allow its trademark registration to be canceled without a fight, so Allen’s statement didn’t come as a surprise. As we wait to see how that case plays out, let’s check in on a few more items from around the NFC….

  • Greg Hardy‘s reduced suspension is good news for the Panthers, who will be eligible to receive a compensatory draft pick in 2016 if Hardy is on the Cowboys’ roster for 10 games, writes David Newton of Under the terms of the initial suspension, Hardy wouldn’t have been active for more than six regular season contests in 2015.
  • The Rams were wise to bolster their offensive line depth by taking Clemson tackle Isaiah Battle in Thursday’s supplemental draft, Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. Battle joins 2015 draft picks Rob Havenstein, Jamon Brown, Andrew Donnal, and Cody Wichmann as part of a rookie-heavy unit for the Rams, and while he’s green, Battle is said to possess serious upside. The cost of selecting the underclassman was a fifth-round choice in the 2016 draft, a small price to pay in Gordon’s estimation.
  • The 49ers have made a habit of using some of their draft picks in recent years on “redshirt”-type players who are coming off injuries So far, those draftees haven’t made a real impact for the team so far, according to Matt Maiocco of, who examines a few players who fit the bill.
  • Tom Benson‘s lawsuit seeking to cut his daughter and grandchildren out of ownership of the Saints will continue in New Orleans, after U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo denied a motion to dismiss the case. The Associated Press has the latest details on the Benson family feud.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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