A preliminary autopsy showed that former NFL linebacker Kevin Mitchell died of a massive heart attack.
Mitchell died in his sleep overnight Sunday at his home in Ashburn, Va., at age 36. He retired in 2003 after a 10-year NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers (1994-97), New Orleans Saints (1998-99) and Washington Redskins (2000-03).
The results of a more detailed autopsy will be known in the next four to six weeks, according to a statement released yesterday by the Redskins at the request of Mitchell's family.
Services for Mitchell will be held Saturday in Harrisburg. Mitchell was a graduate of Harrisburg High School. The 49ers drafted him in the second round out of Syracuse in 1994.
Goodell issues orders. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who disclosed last week that the league would make baseline neuropsychological tests mandatory for the 2007 season, is requiring all team medical personnel to attend a meeting on concussions next month.
NFL spokesman Joe Browne said Goodell had ordered all 32 teams to send its doctors and trainers to a June 19 meeting in Chicago for the first league-wide concussion summit.
"At no time should competitive issues override medical issues," Goodell said last week. "Safety comes first."
Under Goodell's new policy, all players will be required to take a baseline neuropsychological test - determining cognitive abilities, memory and motor skills - by the start of the 2007 season. That way, when a player has a concussion, he can be tested to determine what neurological changes have taken place.
Some players have had baseline tests recently. Under the new policy, those players will not require another test. But those who haven't had a test will be required to have one. NFL officials said some teams administer those tests on a regular basis, while other teams administer the tests only after a player suffers a concussion.
Goodell has acknowledged that players often fight the medical staff to get back into games after suffering head injuries.
Temple lineman signs. Elliot Seifert, an offensive tackle from Temple, signed a free-agent contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The 6-foot-7, 305-pound native of Reading, who recently was named Temple's male athlete of the year, was a four-year letterman who started all 34 games in which he played for the Owls.
Keyshawn gets offers. Jerome Stanley, the agent for wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, told ESPN.com that "several teams have expressed interest in Johnson and that he does have offers."
Stanley would not identify the teams that have made offers to Johnson, who was cut Tuesday by the Carolina Panthers, but he said, "Based on the offers, Keyshawn will be playing in the NFL this season."
Browns. Cleveland told offensive guard Joe Andruzzi's agent that the team plans to release the 10-year-veteran later this week.
The Browns signed free-agent guard Eric Steinbach to a seven-year, $49.5 million contract in March. On Saturday, they drafted Wisconsin tackle Joe Thomas with the No. 3 overall pick.
The Browns also added veteran Seth McKinney during free agency.
Andruzzi started 27 games the last two seasons for the Browns, who signed him as a free agent in 2005.
Seahawks. Franchise player Josh Brown signed his tender offer worth $2,078,000 after Seattle could not reach a long-term deal with the kicker. That figure is the average of the salaries of the five highest-paid NFL kickers.