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Goodell: No expanded playoffs for 2013
“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.”
Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, a former NFL receiver, said the agreement was “better late than never.”
“Some of my most frustrating moments in discussions have evolved around this issue of what in my judgment is fairness to the former players of the league who were not included in the benefit packages and (not) appreciated the way they should,” Richardson said. “It is a new day. I am honored that this day has arrived. I am very grateful it is here.”
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.”
_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.”
By Emily Miller
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