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NFL Notes: Roger Goodell, Raiders, Panthers, Colin Kaepernick

On Wednesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell held a press conference in Minneapolis and fielded questions from reporters on a variety of topics.

Here’s a collection of notes from the session:

  • Goodell says they want to “start over” in terms of the catch rule, as opposed to adding more layers to the current definition: “A lot of focus this offseason is going to be on the rulebook — the catch, no catch rule, officials are officiating that correctly. There will be a lot of focus on going to the ground. We have a great opportunity to get it right.”
  • Regarding their investigation into whether the Raiders followed the Rooney Rule requirements before hiring Jon Gruden as head coach, Goodell said: “I think we have a disagreement on the facts,” Goodell said. (He did not explain what was factually inaccurate about the premise of the question.)
  • Goodell admitted that there was a “slight uptick” in injuries during Thursday night games this year, but he doesn’t think it’s something to overreact to: “We always work to make the game safer. We always look to see what we can do. Just to respond to the statistical aspect that you raised — out of the last five years where we’ve kept the sophisticated statistics that we have on injury data, only this year showed a slight uptick which was not even statistically significant. If you take it over any period of time over those five years the injury rate is lower. We do not think that is something to overreact to.”
  • Goodell says he’s spoken to NFLPA director DeMaurice Smith about how to address safety concerns. (Tom Pelissero)
  • When asked about the stagnant rate of minorities in coaching, front office and ownership position, Goodell stressed the importance and need to “develop that pipeline.” (Jason La Canfora)
  • Goodell announced that Mary Jo White has been hired as an independent investigator to look into the Jerry Richardson allegations. Up to this point, the Panthers have fully cooperated with the investigation. (Tom Pelissero)
  • As for the Panthers remaining in Carolina after the team sells, Goodell said that the league and owners want to stay in the Carolina market.
  • Goodell was asked about possibly helping Colin Kaepernick get another chance with an NFL team, but said that all teams make individual decisions based on players: “I’ve been very clear on this before that all the clubs, individually, have to make their own decisions about who’s on the roster, who’s not on the roster. Colin, as you know, has filed a grievance, so I’m not going to talk specifically about that case. But I think that’s something that the clubs have to make — that decision. We as a league, do not get involved in that in any way. So I don’t anticipate that in any way.