Former NFL linebacker Kevin Mitchell died in his sleep at the age of 36. Mitchell died overnight Sunday at his home in Ashburn, Va., near the Washington Redskins' training facility, according to the team.

An autopsy was performed yesterday by the Virginia state medical examiner's office. The cause of death was not immediately announced.

Mitchell was drafted in the second round out of Syracuse in 1994 by the San Francisco 49ers, who moved the undersized college defensive lineman to linebacker.

He played with San Francisco until 1997, then signed with New Orleans (1998-99). He played his final four seasons (2000-03) with the Redskins.

"Anyone who knew him was touched by his smile, joy for life and love of his family," Washington owner Dan Snyder said. "Anyone who ever played with him or against him never forgot it. He earned our deepest respect."

Noteworthy

* Chicago defensive tackle Terry "Tank" Johnson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor weapons charge as part of an arrangement with prosecutors that will keep him from serving additional time in jail.

The 25-year-old Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a firearm without an owner's identification, said Mary Stanton, chief of the Lake County (Ill.) Court's misdemeanor division.

He was ordered to serve 45 days in jail, which will be served concurrently with a 4-month sentence he's already serving in the Cook County Jail for violating his probation, she said.

Johnson also was ordered to donate $2,500 to the Gurnee Police Department and $2,500 to the Gurnee (Ill.) Exchange Club's child-abuse prevention program.

Johnson was arrested on misdemeanor weapons charges Dec. 14 after police raided his Gurnee home and found six unregistered firearms. At the time, he was on probation in a November 2005 Cook County case.

* Tennessee cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones has filed his appeal of a seasonlong suspension and a hearing with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should be held within the next 2 weeks, a league spokesman said.

Jones said earlier this month he planned to appeal and NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed that Jones' letter arrived at league offices over the weekend.

Jones first met with Goodell on April 3 to discuss off-field conduct, which has included 10 incidents in which he has been interviewed by police with five arrests since the Titans drafted him in April 2005.

* Former Green Bay linebacker Bill Forester died after a long illness. He was 74.

The Dallas native spent his entire 11-year NFL career, from 1953 to 1963, with the Packers. *