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Goodell: No Roethlisberger suspension cut yet
It was another quarterback _ Rams rookie Sam Bradford, who recently signed a six-year contract that guarantees him $50 million _ who may have been on Goodell’s mind at the Browns’ camp. There, Goodell said the NFL’s rookie compensation system “is broken,” though he didn’t specifically cite giving an unproven quarterback one of the richest contracts in NFL history as evidence.
“I think our compensation system should reward the players for their performance on an NFL field and this is something I’ve heard from veteran players,” Goodell said. “I think it’s something we have to address in the collective bargaining system.”
Numerous NFL players have expressed pessimism this summer that a new labor agreement can be done soon. The 2010 season is the last covered by the current agreement.
“We need to find solutions to our issues,” Goodell said. “That’s what people want. That’s what our fans want and that should be everyone’s intent, not focusing on the negative down the road.”
The players union wants Goodell to open the financial books of league clubs, but, Goodell said, “They know our revenue to a penny. They know our player costs … They have a tremendous amount of information.”
Some Steelers fans believe Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl winner, received overly harsh punishment from Goodell because other well-known players recently escaped punishment for their off-field actions.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson was not disciplined for his role in a bar fight. Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young also wasn’t punished after getting into a fight at a strip club.
“The circumstances are different,” Goodell said. “You have to look at the facts of each one … and make a decision you believe is in the best interests of the individual.”
Since the Steelers opened camp a week ago, Roethlisberger has split time with Byron Leftwich as the team prepares two starting quarterbacks, one to begin the season and the other to play most of it. Roethlisberger can play in preseason games, but can have no contact with the team, unless he is injured, once his suspension begins.
“I’ve got some ideas up my sleeve that will help me stay in shape, stay around football without breaking any rules,” Roethlisberger said. “Obviously you can’t do anything with the Steelers organization. Hopefully we’ve just got to talk with him (Goodell) and make sure that he’s OK with it. But we’ve got some good ideas that I’m sure you guys will hear about pretty soon.”
Roethlisberger has been greeted warmly by spectators during training camp, a possible sign that the hostility previously directed toward him might be easing as the season nears and fans focus on football rather than off-field issues.
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
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