NFL commissioner Roger Goodell gave his state of the league address on Wednesday ahead of Super Bowl LIV in Miami. Goodell had plenty of interesting tidbits on the future of the league regarding its collective bargaining agreement negotiations, relocation to London, international games in Mexico, future Super Bowl sites, and a potential change to the NFL Kickoff Game for 2020.
Here's a rundown of Goodell's press conference regarding the state of the NFL.
On concussions being up and adding a 17th regular season game
"Safety has been at the forefront and No. 1 priority of our players ... We believe we have made the game safer, and we believe we can reconstruct the schedule that doesn't impact the future of the game."
Goodell also mentioned:
- Six new helmet models are coming out this year,
- The league has data to prove which techniques should be taken out of the game in case a 17th game is coming
- The league is looking at the entire season, not just a possible 17th game, regarding safety of the players
- How to work with practices, training camps, preseason games on how to accommodate an expanded schedule
On future Miami Super Bowls
"There's a reason why Miami is hosting its 11th Super Bowl. They know how to put on big events. They know how to do this. We believe we'll be back here many times going into the future."
On domestic violence
"It's a complex set of issues. There are things we have learned as a league on how we can educate our players. All of us go through training on how we can handle ourselves better. What we have to do is continuing stay ahead of our policy. I think we're leading the way knowing it's a very complex issue."
"We have to think about the well-being of Antonio Brown. You can be sure the NFL and NFLPA have all the resources available. We want to get him on the right track, to a zone where we think he can be successful in life."
On Rooney Rule and lack of minority head coaches
"Clearly we are not where we want to be on this level. It's clear we need to change. We have already begun discussing those changes, what stages we can take next to determine better outcomes."
On NFL Kickoff Game potentially in Los Angeles
"We look at not only celebrating the Super Bowl champion. Our hope would be to create the biggest and best platform for all those events (in Los Angeles and Las Vegas). We have to put the biggest stage together for all those teams. We have the flexibility to move the Super Bowl champ on a Thursday or a Sunday. We could start in Los Angeles on a Sunday. There will be primetime games in Los Angeles."
Goodell hinted the NFL is looking at potentially opening the 2020 season in Los Angeles.
On NFL in Mexico
"We had a great experience this past November down in Mexico. We will be there for two more games over the next two years. We look forward to going down there. We'll announce our schedule over the next 60 days."
On Kobe Bryant
"I'm proud the way our league responded and the way the fans responded. As a league, we have been very responsive."
Goodell also mentioned the league will plan some way to honor Bryant and Vikings legend Chris Doleman, who also died this week, on Sunday.
On CBA talks
"We're not going to negotiate in a press conference. I think we've made a lot of progress. Each of those discussions have been open. The process will close ... when we reach an agreement. I don't know when that will be, but I think it's important to get it right. ..."
"If you reach a new CBA, the benefits will not only go to the current players and the former players. We're trying to make sure the future can be moved forward, and if everyone can be affected by that, that's a positive. We're going to be careful and make sure we get to the right place."
On potential retirement
"Your work is never done. I want to put this league in the best possible position. I haven't though about retirement. It's not on my agenda. I'm 100 percent committed to this job."
On league ignoring years African Americans were banned (1933 to 1945)
"It's part of our history. We don't walk away from that. We look to make sure our league is diverse. We're trying to make our front offices and coaching staff diverse. That's something we are looking at."
On Patriots investigation
"Our responsibility is to be extremely through. From our standpoint, our team as been on it. It has not been that lengthy of time. When we come to a conclusion, we'll make sure people are aware of it."
On London franchise
"A timeline has not been set in London. We have grown incredibly quickly. We look at our job is to make sure London can continue to grow. Could we have a franchise ready to market? The flexibility of scheduling two stadiums has been a huge flex for us. Can we do it in a competitive way? That's No. 1 priority for us."
On Super Bowl potentially in Las Vegas
"I think we should get through the draft before we focus on the Super Bowl. We'll focus on that (Super Bowl site in 2025) before the end of the calendar year.
On whether Toronto is viable for relocation
"I have nothing but admiration for Toronto. It certainly a great city for a NFL team."
Goodell also mentioned that upgrades to stadium to meet NFL standards will play a factor.