NFL to interview Harrison, Peppers, Matthews, Neal

Four NFL players have agreed to meet NFL investigators regarding performance-enhancing drug allegations stemming from a December report by Al Jazeera America.

Green Bay Packers linebackers Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison and free-agent linebacker Mike Neal will acquiesce to NFL demands that the active players named in the report meet with investigators, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Media's Mike Garafolo reported.

Rapoport reported Tuesday all four players are expected to be interviewed this week (Matthews and Peppers today; Harrison on Thursday; Neal is expected sometime this week).

The league has not formally announced the meeting dates.

The NFL previously cleared retired quarterback Peyton Manning, also named in the report.

Speaking to NFL Media's Aditi Kinkhabwala last week, Harrison said he agreed to do the interview because he didn't want to be put in a position that could ultimately hurt his team. He also said the NFL doesn't have any evidence related to the allegations directed at him.

"I just agreed to it ... so they can get their little 23 seconds or whatever," Harrison said. "They don't have credible evidence. Period. End of discussion."

Harrison reiterated his stance after Thursday's game between the Steelers and Eagles.

"I never took a PED in my life and never failed a drug test. You know, simple," Harrison said. "Whatever evidence they think they may have or reason for questioning me ... I really don't know.

"I wouldn't have a problem with it being filmed, you know, live," Harrison continued. "Just to, you know, make sure there's no questions of what's going on. ... I can't see why we can't have the media there and do a live interview to ask them questions, and I can answer them and you all can see what evidence they got -- or don't have."

Earlier this week, the NFL threatened the players with potential suspensions under the conduct-detrimental clause of the collective bargaining agreement for failure to cooperate with the investigation.

Last month, the NFL rejected player affidavits as reasonable cooperation in the investigation, leading to the demand for in-person interviews.

In a letter from the NFL Players Association on behalf of Harrison, obtained by Rapoport, Harrison and the NFLPA "agree that this interview is occurring on a non-precedential basis" and reserve the right to fight any punishment stemming from the investigation.

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