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SBD/December 16, 2010/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Roger Goodell Thinks New NFL CBA By Super Bowl Is Possible
Published December 16, 2010
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell yesterday said a new CBA could be in place by February's Super Bowl "if we all commit to it and work hard at it," according to Jaime Aron of the AP. Following a day of meetings with NFL team owners, Goodell said, "There's no higher priority than getting a collective bargaining agreement. So we will work night and day to get that done." When asked whether he expects the same from the NFLPA, he said, "I hope so." Goodell added that the league "has no deadline" to reach a new deal, but noted the CBA expires March 4. Goodell: "This becomes harder after the labor agreement expires. We want to get this done as soon as possible." He indicated that he "doesn't think it is practical to expect negotiations to get serious enough fast enough" to reach a deal by the end of the regular season, as Patriots Owner Robert Kraft has suggested. But Goodell added, "I think the end of the postseason is realistic." Aron noted the "major sticking point is the owners demanding to restructure the players' share of designated revenues," while the league's desire to add two more regular-season games is "another point of contention." Still, Colts Owner Jim Irsay said, "There's nothing that's unusual or anything earth-shattering right now. The process continues is the best way to put it." Goodell added that it is a "good sign that the league and the NFLPA are talking, but he called that only a start" (AP, 12/15). Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie: "Everyone wants to head in the right direction. That's everyone's intention" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/16).
MORE PRESSING ISSUES: Goodell yesterday said that he "hoped that the recent agreement between the league office and the union to postpone a union filing of a collusion claim -- the league office lifted the deadline for such a claim -- was an indication that the two sides could negotiate to solve their problems." Goodell: "Obviously we’re seeing a lot of rhetoric and other tactics, including litigation strategies that I think are all distractions and attempts to get leverage. I understand that. But at the end of the day this will get solved at the negotiating table. That’s where we should be." Meanwhile, Falcons President Rich McKay, Chair of the NFL's Competition Committee, yesterday indicated that he will "raise the question of whether playoff teams should be seeded according to regular-season records, not according to whether teams are division champions or wild cards" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/16).
FAVRE RULING COMING IN NEAR FUTURE: Goodell said that he "expects to rule" on Vikings QB Brett Favre's alleged misconduct with former Jets employee Jenn Sterger "in the near future." In Ft. Worth, Pete Alfano notes it is "becoming a moot point, however, with only three games remaining" in the season and Favre's consecutive games started streak having ended (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 12/16).