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Published March 19, 2013
HOT TOPICS: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell weighed in on a number of different topics yesterday at the owners meeting in Phoenix. He confirmed that the NFL “is working on a new league calendar which could push back" the start of free agency. Goodell said, "We presented an alternative calendar for the offseason. We think that it makes a lot of sense. I think the players saw the benefits of doing that and they wanted to talk to their membership, which they were doing last week at their meeting." NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal noted the idea is “to spread out the NFL's offseason events, perhaps pushing back the NFL Scouting Combine and free agency a few weeks.” Free agency could “wind up starting in April,” and the change “sounds inevitable” (NFL.com, 3/18). Meanwhile, Goodell also appeared to indicate that the effort put forth by players in the recent Pro Bowl might be enough to save the game. “Clearly there was an improved effort,” Goodell said of the game, which has been marred in past years by half-hearted play. “I have also had conversations with the players and so have our staff. They have also met with the Competition Committee last month to talk about what we can do to make the game more attractive, more exciting and more competitive. There are some very good ideas” (Daniel Kaplan, Staff Writer). In addition, Goodell said expanding the playoff field from six teams in each conference “clearly won’t be happening for this year.” But in Boston, Greg Bedard writes the idea “is still being looked at” (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/19).