Goodell: Playoff expansion might happen in 2015; Draft could move

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Roger Goodell spoke on a variety of topics Tuesday. (USATSI)
Roger Goodell expects playoff expansion to happen in 2015. (USATSI)
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke with the media Tuesday afternoon from the spring league meetings and spoke on a range of topics.

Expanded playoffs discussion

"I do believe [playoff expansion] will be approved for the 2015 season. I think we want to see one more year of 'Will it impact the regular season in a positive way, from a competitive standpoint.' Will it create more excitement, more races toward the end? ... And we also want to absorb the additional inventory into the marketplace, from an advertising standpoint. ...

"I spoke to [union president DeMaurice Smith] about it two weeks ago. I think there's a lot of benefits to the players. That' something they'll have to evaluate. ... I do believe this is a real benefit to the players. The revenue, obviously, will increase, and they share in that."

Future NFL Draft logistics

"We're looking at everything (when it comes to the timing of the draft). We think the draft has a great deal more potential to grow in popularity. We don't believe the date affected us in a negative way at all this year (editor's note: No, no it did not). We've got to balance a number of issues, including, obviously, football-related issues. ... Date and location are probably the two primary issues for us to decide. Radio City (Music Hall) is going to let us know by the end of the month what flexibility they have in their schedule, and that will obviously be a big help. And we're obviously continuing our discussion with other cities."

Latest on Colts owner Jim Irsay

"There have been no charges (against Irsay). So the answer is that until we have more information, more facts, we will let it play out a little longer, yes."

What put Minnesota in driver's seat for Super Bowl LII?

"I think a distinguishing factor, hearing some discussion afterwards among some of the owners, was that the stadium project -- the effort that they had to bring that stadium to completion, the plans that they have for it, and the commitment of that community demonstrated was a positive influence."

With New Orleans missing out on Super Bowl for first time ever, is there a new dynamic for earning a bid?

"It's much more competitive to host these Super Bowls. The new stadiums are obviously a big factor, and I think drive and influence owners' perspective. And the size of this event and the impact it has on communities is creating even more interest."

Saints owner Tom Benson's status

"(Benson fell) immediately after he spoke to the ownership. As he was turning, he just lost his balance and fell. Fortunately, he appears to be fine but I think as a precautionary step they've taken him to the hospital. Our thoughts are with Tom Benson and his family right now, but the initial reaction looks very positive."

Any scenario where an exception would be made to a PED, in light of the Robert Mathis situation?

"The first principle of our joint drug program with the players' association is that you're responsible for what's in your body. There are several avenues for you to contact people in advance, to determine whether you should or should not take a particular drug. And we have a process set up. Ironically, the players' association asked me to step in as the hearing officer, and I chose not to do that. I didn't see any reason how this was different than any of the other drug cases that we have.

"We've had, I think, since 2011, 104 drug-related cases. All have been heard by my designee. Had we implemented the HGH program and the other elements of our drug program from the 2011 agreement, 104 of those players would have actually gone to third-party arbitration. Twenty-one of those would have been referred into the drug program instead of being suspended. ... The point here is that we have a very strong drug policy, we have already negotiated improvements to that drug policy, and we should get on with it, including an HGH program."

Progress on HGH policy with the union?

"No, unfortunately (there has been no progress). I think it's time to implement this. I think it's good for the players, good for the league."

What has NFL learned from how NBA has handled the Donald Sterling situation?

"I think they've made the right decisions, and I salute (NBA commissioner) Adam Silver for being decisive, and he made the right statement. And he's doing the right things."

 
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