PHOENIX (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the playoffs will not expand this season, but it will be discussed for the future. Last December, Goodell spoke about adding two or four teams to the current 12-team format.
“The competition committee looked at some of the issues,” said Goodell, who added the league needs to discuss expanded playoffs with the players’ union, too.
“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.
Moments later, Goodell came down hard on teams that consider asking questions about a player’s sexual orientation at the scouting combine.
“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.”