With the NFL’s owners meetings winding down in Boca Raton, Florida, commissioner Roger Goodell took to the podium this morning to announcing the rules changes approved by the league and to take questions from reporters. We won’t get into the rule changes here, but we’ll round up several of the more noteworthy comments Goodell made in response to those reporters’ inquiries. Let’s dive in…
- Goodell confirmed that he received Robert Kraft‘s letter asking for the Patriots to get their draft picks back. However, after “considering his views,” Goodell has decided that New England’s Deflategate penalties won’t be altered, since the commissioner doesn’t feel as if new information has surfaced.
- The NFL and NFL Players Association are not close – “by any stretch of the imagination” – to reaching an agreement on player discipline that would strip Goodell of some or all of his power and authority.
- Goodell expects to serve as the arbitrator for the Chiefs‘ appeal of their tampering penalties, adding that he’ll make sure that appeal happened before the draft if the team pushes for that.
- No discipline is expected for the Falcons and/or their coaches after secondary coach Marquand Manuel asked cornerback prospect Eli Apple at the combine if he liked men.
- Although several reports have suggested that the Rams are expected to host the NFL’s 2018 regular-season game in China, Goodell said several teams are interested and no decisions have been made yet. However, he did confirm that the league will play a game in China in ’18.
- Asked about the possibility of the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, Goodell didn’t close the door on the possibility of having an NFL franchise there, suggesting that the league’s 32 owners would have a decision to make if a formal proposal was put on the table. The city’s economic reliance on gambling, and the potential impact on the NFL, would certainly be a significant factor in that decision.
- While no decisions have been made on Josh Gordon‘s potential reinstatement, Goodell expects his staff to update him on the Browns wide receiver’s case next week.