BATAVIA, N.Y. – NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is reiterating his stance of wanting to reduce the four-game preseason schedule at a time the league and players' association have begun preliminary talks on a new collective bargaining agreement.
Goodell cites discussions he's had with coaches in saying he doesn't believe four preseason games are necessary to evaluate and develop players for the regular season. He says the NFL should do everything to the highest quality, "and I'm not sure preseason games meet that level right now."
Goodell spoke Monday while participating in Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly's 33rd charity golf tournament outside Buffalo.
Also, without revealing any details, Goodell called it "the best sign" that the league and union have already had discussions some 21 months before the CBA expires following the 2020 season.
In touching on several other topics, he said the NFL has scheduled a series of conference calls with coaches this week to go over a proposal to expand replay reviews and allow them to challenge pass-interference calls in the final two minutes.
Goodell backed a decision made at the owners meetings last month to table a proposal to change the overtime rules and require each team to have one possession regardless of what happens on the opening OT series.
"I don't know if I'd go for the fair possession," Goodell said, noting he likes "the sudden-death nature of the current rule," in which the game ends if a team scores a touchdown on its opening possession.
Goodell also reiterated the league's preference for the Buffalo Bills to build a new stadium to replace their existing facility, which was built in 1973. He said new stadiums play a key role in ensuring franchise stability by continuing to attract fans, who expect more modern amenities due to technological advancements made over the past two decades.
The Bills are six months into conducting a feasibility study on whether to build a new stadium downtown or remain at their existing site in Orchard Park, New York.