Roger Goodell: League Considering Longer Season, Not Draft Lottery
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, attending this week’s Fall League Meeting, has provided an update on the direction of the league.
Speaking after this meetings in Florida, Goodell spoke extensively about the new pass interference replay rule. He also gave some insight into what else was on the table during these meetings, including a longer season and moving to a draft lottery system.
A longer NFL season of 17 games is something that has been given serious consideration. Many would be in favor of it, and Roger Goodell clarified how it would work.
“Again it is part of the discussions. We’ve had very fruitful discussions on it discussing the positives and negatives of changes to the game that we’ve made over the last 10 years, which I think are really important as it relates to the safety of the game and how we’re preparing and practicing, training our players and I think those changes have made a significant impact in a positive way. That is something that we’ll continue to discuss that may or may not be part of whatever we ultimately decide.”
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“Yes, we would still start the week after Labor Day, so we would have the same starting week but would just play one week longer (in February).”
Something that is less likely to happen is changing the NFL draft to a draft lottery system. Roger Goodell believes that there is little need for such a thing, as the league is already so competitive.
“Obviously we’re well aware of it. It’s been discussed over the years. I can remember that being discussed 20, 30 years ago. I think from our standpoint we find the draft to be successful on many fronts. One, on the competitive side but also the event itself has grown dramatically. So it’s not under active consideration. It hasn’t been raised by either of the committees or the clubs.”
“Well the good news for us is we don’t see that. I don’t think the league has ever been more competitive than it is today. You see that in teams going from last to first in dramatic fashion. That’s unique to the National Football League. I’d say we’ve been 16 out of 17 years where that’s happened and so for us the competitiveness of our game is obviously critical. I don’t think that’s solved with a lottery. I think that’s solved by all the other issues that we try to deal with on a regular basis through the Competition Committee and the league in trying to make sure our league is competitive.”