Goodell Will Wait On Legal Process Before Any Brent Decision

IRVING, Texas – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn't spoken to Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent and doesn't plan on making any decisions regarding his NFL status until the legal process begins.

The Cowboys elected to place Brent on the reserved non-football injury list. Since Brent won't be active, Goodell said he'll wait until the defensive lineman's legal status becomes clearer before making any football decisions.

"We talked about it internally with our staff," Goodell said. "The club is ultimately responsible for any roster movements, and they made a determination that putting him on a list and allowing him to focus on other issues was the right decision. They came to that conclusion."

Goodell said it's likely that he'll speak with Brent eventually. He already talked yesterday with DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association.

The commissioner said his focus is on figuring out what more the NFL can offer in education and resources to players.

"How do we help our players understand the issues, have the resources to make better decisions, plan ahead so that they aren't doing this, and of course discipline," Goodell said. "I don't think it's a secret that we've all felt that the discipline in this area needs to be revisited and escalated on a first offense and a second offense. Hopefully that never happens, but I think it's very important to have that."

Goodell also commented on other subjects regarding the NFL as a whole, including former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue's overturning of the suspensions in the Saints' bounty case. Goodell said he hasn't spoken to Tagliabue, but the two came to the same conclusion regarding the facts, they just had different ideas regarding discipline.

"I think his report made it quite clear that he feels the management and coaches are responsible," Goodell said. "My personal view is I hold everyone responsible. We have to have a personal responsibility here."

Goodell commented on a variety of other topics with the owners:

  • Mandatory Pads from Nike – "They were here today to make a presentation to show their next generation of pads that we think are very exciting, safer, high performance, and actually have a good look, too."
  • Low Blocks – "That's something that we discussed a couple of months ago. That's something we're going to be looking at with the committee across the board."
  • Expanded Playoffs  – Discussions will take place regarding the expansion of the playoffs from 12 teams to 14 or 16 teams.

When considering a possible playoff expansion, Goodell said player safety must be taken into account. He also said no data suggests playing Thursday games puts players at a greater risk of injury.

"The injury rates do not indicate that at all over the years," Goodell said. "I think you start with the facts, and the facts are that that's not a risk to the players. On the 18-game schedule, we have said that we won't do that unless we can do it the right way, and that includes safety."

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