PHOENIX — The 2023 NFL Annual League Meeting is in the books after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell concluded the event with a press conference at the McArthur Ballroom inside the Arizona Biltmore.
Goodell answered questions on a myriad of topics ranging from the NFL rule changes, scheduling, the sale and investigation of the Washington Commanders and more.
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USA TODAY Sports has the main takeaways from Roger Goodell press conference at the Annual League Meeting:
Flexing Thursday night games
The NFL voted and approved teams to play two games on short weeks, but tabled the vote on flexing “Thursday Night Football” games in 2023. Several players expressed their displeasure on social media about playing multiple condensed weeks in a regular season, including Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
“We have always been looking at the data with respect to injuries and the impact on players. That’s what drove our decisions throughout the first 12 or so years of ‘Thursday Night Football’ and how it’s evolved. I think we have data that’s very clear, it doesn’t show a higher injury rate. But we recognize the shorter week,” Goodell said. “We work very closely on that.”
Goodell went on to say that he hears that some players actually like playing on Thursday night because of the additional days off in between regular season games.
“In fact, they call it a mini-bye (week),” Goodell said. “You have different views. You want to consider all of them.”
Giants John Mara called flexing Thursday night games “abusive” according to the NFL Network.
Washington Commanders sale is ‘ongoing’ while investigation continues
Two groups have reportedly bid $6 billion for the Commanders.
The process of selling the Commanders is running concurrently with Mary Jo White’s investigation of owner Dan Snyder for the team’s toxic workplace and financial improprieties.
“They are both ongoing processes. The Washington Commanders are obviously the one’s conducting the process on the sale,” Goodell said. “When there is a transaction, they will notify us and we will proceed on that one.”
The commissioner also revealed that White gave a brief update about the investigation and said she’s in the “middle of her process” but didn’t provide more details.
The commissioner reiterated that the NFL will make White’s findings public once the investigation is complete. The potential sale of the Commanders will not impact the release of White’s report, according to Goodell.
Jim Trotter’s contract not renewed by NFL Media
Trotter’s announced on social media this week that his contract was not renewed by the NFL. This comes after Trotter’s criticism of the NFL for its lack of diversity throughout the league. The acclaimed NFL columnist questioned Goodell and the NFL about its hiring practices at the past two Super Bowls.
“I wasn’t a part of that decision,” Goodell said of the NFL’s decision not to renew Trotter’s contract.
Goodell then claimed Trotter’s outspoken disapproval of the league’s hiring practices had nothing to do with his loss of employment.
“No, I don’t believe that had anything to do with it,” Goodell said.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Tyler Dragon on Twitter @TheTylerDragon.