Posted by Josh Katzowitz
DALLAS – Expectations were not high that there would be any kind of new news emerging from commissioner Roger Goodell’s press conference today.
The questions were on point – a high number of labor negotiation questions (including one from Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco), a few regarding player safety and a couple about a potential new team in Los Angeles – but Goodell was masterful in his responses.
Basically, he didn’t say much of anything, minus the same talking points we continue to hear, especially regarding the upcoming lockout (which he refused to call a “lockout”) and other CBA negotiations.
He hammered NFLPA president Kevin Mawae’s previous quote about how the 2006 CBA signing was a great deal for the players, and whenever anybody asked about potential declining revenues for the players based off the last labor agreement, he went back to Mawae’s statement to make his point.
Goodell continued his line that the next few weeks were a window of opportunity. March 3, the final day of the current CBA, also is important, because once that day passes, Goodell said it’s going to be tougher to make a deal.
Other highlights from the presser:
- Despite a recent Associated Press poll that a majority of fans did not want an 18-game schedule, the owners still are adamant about dropping two preseason games in exchange for two regular-season games.
Goodell said he’s talked to numerous fans who feel that preseason games fall below the NFL standards, and since switching out preseason games for regular-season games keeps in place the 20-game schedule, that's the owners goal.
- He described the call of the NFLPA for the owners to open their financial books as a negotiating ploy. He and the owners have said all along that the union has all the relevant financial information it needs in order for the two sides to negotiate a new deal.
- A San Diego reporter asked Goodell about the eventuality of the Chargers moving to L.A. Goodell responded that the NFL wanted to keep all of its teams where they are. But he also said getting a naming rights deal to a potential new stadium in L.A. was a good first step for football returning to that city.
- Also, in an interview on NFL Network after his presser, Goodell said the owners and union have agreed to two days of negotiating next week.
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