NFL

Mara selected to head NFL Management Council

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NEW YORK (AP)

New York Giants owner John Mara was appointed chairman of the NFL Management Council, the league's most powerful committee.

Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Thursday several changes to the leadership of league committees, with Mara replacing Panthers owner Jerry Richardson as head of the Management Council, which is the main NFL labor committee.

Goodell also has formed a committee on health and medical issues that will be chaired by 49ers owner John York. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Falcons President Rich McKay, Packers President Mark Murphy and Mara also will serve on that group, called the Health and Safety Advisory Committee.

There have been few significant changes to the committees in recent years due to labor and other issues.

''Our committee structure has been very important and beneficial to the NFL over the years,'' Goodell said. ''It has allowed us to address and study complex issues in depth and present our clubs with comprehensive information and thoughtful recommendations.''

Most notable is the creation of the health and safety unit as the league deals with increasing concerns about the health of current and former players, and the dangers of the sport.

''Player health and safety has been a key focus of the league for decades,'' league spokesman Greg Aiello said. ''An ownership level committee will support and oversee all of our work in this area that is critical to the future of the game.''

Other new committee chairmen are Texans owner Bob McNair (finance), Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver (investment), Steelers President Art Rooney (stadium), Chargers President Dean Spanos (business ventures), Bengals executive Katie Blackburn ( Super Bowl advisory), Chiefs owner Clark Hunt (international) and Jones (Hall of Fame).

''I'm honored that Commissioner Goodell has asked me to serve in this capacity,'' McNair said. ''The finance committee is one of the most important committees in the NFL. We have many challenges facing us in the future and I look forward to working with the commissioner and staff and other members of the committee as we do our financial planning to continue to be a successful enterprise going forward.

''Fortunately, I've been on the committee for a number of years and so I am familiar with its workings and so I don't see there will be much of a transition to move from being a member of the committee to being the chairman.''

Stepping down as chairmen are Saints owner Tom Benson (finance), Broncos owner Pat Bowlen (labor), McNair (investment), Weaver (business ventures), Bears chairman Mike McCaskey (Super Bowl advisory and Hall of Fame), and York (international). Of course, McNair, Weaver and York are taking on similar duties with other committees.

Staying on as chairs are Patriots owner Robert Kraft (broadcast), McKay (competition), Falcons owner Arthur Blank (audit and compensation), Saints executive Rita LeBlanc (employee benefits), Cardinals President Michael Bidwill (stadium security and fan conduct), Jones (NFL Network), Patriots executive Jonathan Kraft and Redskins owner Dan Snyder (digital media), Colts owner Jim Irsay (legislative), and Blackburn (workplace diversity).

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