NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters Wednesday that there is no timeline to complete the NFL’s probe into the Patriots’ video taping of the Bengals sideline last Sunday. Goodell’s comments came at the conclusion of the league’s two-day meeting in Texas.
“It’s under review,” Goodell told reporters. “We’re going to be thorough. We’re going to take our time and make sure we look at everything that’s pertinent here and make a decision.”
Goodell would not speculate if there would be a ruling before the end of the season. The Patriots admitted Monday night that the organization’s video crew, independent of the team’s football organization, “inappropriately filmed the field from the press box” during Sunday’s Browns-Bengals game for a “Do Your Job” video series on an advance scout.
The Patriots also said, “the sole purpose of the filming was to provide an illustration of an advance scout at work on the road. There was no intention of using the footage for any other purpose.” New England coach Bill Belichick has reiterated throughout the week that he had no knowledge of a production crew’s filming of the Bengals’ sideline.
“One of the things I’ve learned is you don’t draw conclusions until you have all the information,” Goodell said when asked for his thoughts on the Patriots’ explanation. “From our standpoint, I want look at all the information. Once we have all the information then we draw conclusions.”
When asked if the Patriots’ past transgressions involving video incidents would factor into the NFL’s decision, Goodell said “Of course it is, that’s a factor. But the key things are the new information that we have … I think the issue is what information do we have from this incident.”
Belichick was fined $500,000 and the organization was docked $250,000 and a draft pick in 2008 for illegally taping Jets’ coaches defensive signals the previous season.
Other topics Goodell discussed during his Wednesday news conference:
» Goodell said the decision to organize a workout for Colin Kaepernick last month in Atlanta was about “creating an opportunity.”
The NFL originally intended to hold a private workout for Kaepernick on Nov. 16 at the Falcons’ team facility, but Kaepernick changed the location on the day of the workout and conducted a public workout at an Atlanta-area high school after citing issues with a liability waiver and a desire for media to observe the session.
“It was a unique opportunity, an incredible opportunity and he chose not to take it,” Goodell said. “I understand that and we’ve moved on.”
» Goodell said the league has not completed its investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Antonio Brown.
“They’ve still not completed the investigation. Our investigators did [but] I did not meet with Antonio. They have more work to do with following up on that and I’ll get an update when they have more information.”
» Goodell on the issue of officiating this season, and if the league its leadership or the structure of its leadership for officiating to improve:
“Consistency is the No. 1 thing we’re always trying to achieve and we every year have engaged in changes that are designed to make us more consistent and better. Obviously the standard keeps getting higher as we add new elements but I think what people see nowadays with technology is much greater than it was even five years ago, clearly 10 or 15. I think our officials do an outstanding job but we always seek to improve and we will engage in that. We have engaged in that and obviously that will continue.”
» Goodell was asked if there has been any conversation on re-seeding the playoffs in light of the possibility of an 8-8 or below .500 NFC East champion hosting a double-digit win team Wild Card Weekend.
“This is not the first time this conversation has occurred or this situation’s occurred. Teams go into the season with the first objective is to win the division. That’s what they work on – we win the division and get into the playoffs. That is something we’ve considered over the years. I have not heard that this year and I don’t anticipate hearing it again. It’s been discussed in the past but I don’t see that as an issue. If it comes up we’ll certainly have a conversation. I don’t anticipate it.”
» On if the league has second thoughts on its decision to have Mike Vick as one of the 2020 Pro Bowl legends captains:
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“Over the last nine years or so, we have supported Michael and I think his recognition of the mistake that he made, he’s paid a heavy price for that. He has been accountable for it, he has worked aggressively with The Humane Society and other institutions to deal with animal rights and to make sure people don’t make the same mistake he made and I admire that. I know that they’re people out there who will never forgive him, he knows that but I think this is a young man that has really taken his life in a positive direction and we support that. So, I don’t anticipate any change, no.”