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In brief: news and notes from the NFL owner's meetings

Posted Mar 25, 2013

News and notes from last week's NFL Owner's meetings in Phoenix .


A number of topics were addressed at last week's NFL Owner's meetings in Phoenix. Here's list of some of those items, compiled from Associated Press reports.

  • Instead of celebrating their Super Bowl title with a game at their home stadium, the Baltimore Ravens will start the 2013 regular season on the road, because Major League Baseball and the Baltimore Orioles wouldn't budge.

    The NFL likes to have its reigning champion open a season at home and wanted to have the Ravens play in Baltimore at night on Thursday, Sept. 5. But with the Orioles already set to host the Chicago White Sox next door at 7:05 p.m. on that date, and the leagues and teams unable to reach a compromise, the NFL announced Friday the Ravens will have to play somewhere else.

    The Ravens and Orioles play at adjacent stadiums and share a parking lot, so they avoid playing at the same time because of traffic problems.
  • Goodell also said the playoffs will not expand this season, but it will be discussed for the future. Last December, Goodell spoke about adding two or four teams to the current 12-team format.

    "The competition committee looked at some of the issues,'' said Goodell, who added the league needs to discuss expanded playoffs with the players' union, too.

    "Now, we have a little bit of work to do before we can advance it. It clearly won't be happening for this year if there was any doubt about that.''
  • Surrounded by six Pro Football Hall of Famers at a news conference, Goodell and Jim Brown announced that the league will pay $42 million as part of a settlement with a group of retired players who sued over the use of their names and images without their consent.

    "We have a common good fund in our agreement that will allow us to reach out and help a lot of our players who really need help,'' Brown said, ``and not only that, but to help their spouses who some are suffering. We have individuals who are homeless.

    "Today is like a coming back together because we can publicly say that we are doing something together that is going to be a landmark happening for people who truly need it.''
  • Moments later, Goodell came down hard on teams that consider asking questions about a player's sexual orientation at the scouting combine.
  • Michigan quarterback-turned-receiver Denard Robinson, Colorado tight end Nick Kasa and Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell indicated they were asked about it last month in Indianapolis.

    "We have been following up with the players and their representatives directly,'' Goodell said. "We are also this afternoon working with all of our executives that lead in that position to make sure they understand what you can't ask and what you can ask. We're a professional organization. That's unacceptable. We will do things the right way. We will give them that education and that training. I hope that that will solve the problem.''
  • Goodell also dismissed the notion that problems caused by the third-quarter blackout during the Super Bowl will damage New Orleans' chances of hosting the game again. The league believes New Orleans authorities discovered the source of the problem that caused a 32-minute delay.

    "They did a great job,'' Goodell said. ``I mentioned that this morning to our membership and I think they deserve another Super Bowl.''

Goodell also:

  • Said there will be no change to the $36 million salary cap reduction the Washington Redskins were hit with in 2012; $18 million last year and $18 this year. Redskins general manager Bruce Allen recently called the penalty ``a travesty of fairness.''
  • Admitted there was improved effort in the players' performance at the Pro Bowl and there will be further discussions here on its future.
  • Reiterated the league's desire to place a franchise in Los Angeles. He even thought Philip Anschutz's decision not to sell AEG, which has interest in building a stadium downtown, is ``very positive.''

    "We want to get back to Los Angeles, but we are going to look at every alternative we have to do that successfully,'' he said.
  • The NFL also approved terms and conditions for the new lease and renovation of the Buffalo Bills' stadium.

    "This is another important step in the process toward finalizing the related definitive agreements and remaining on schedule to begin the improvements this year,'' Bills CEO Russ Brandon said.
  • Said the league is expanding a relationship with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.