Goodell: NFL could ban 3-point stance

A ban on the three-point stance? NFL commissioner Roger Goodell

says it’s possible.

Concerned about concussions, Goodell said the league will

keep looking for ways to make the game safer. Speaking on CBS’s

“Face the Nation” hours before the Super Bowl, he didn’t rule out

the idea of banning the three-point stance for linemen to reduce

the ferocity of collisions at the line of scrimmage.

“As you’ll see tonight, you’ll see a lot of players that

never get down in a three-point stance,” Goodell said Sunday. “So

it’s possible that would happen.”

While science is still trying to determine the long-term

effects of concussions, Goodell said, the league has made progress

in increasing awareness about the severity of such injuries.

“For many years the culture had been quite different – that

concussions weren’t serious injuries,” he said. “I think we have

changed that culture and made sure that people understand they are

serious, and they can have serious consequences if they’re not

treated properly.”

Goodell has met with NFL competition committee co-chair Rich

McKay to begin evaluating possible rules changes.

Another priority for Goodell is the league’s stalled labor

negotiations. He predicted players’ salaries will still grow under

a new agreement, even if their share of revenue is reduced as

owners have proposed.

Goodell said the owners need more money to cover rising costs

for international ventures and infrastructure projects such as new

stadiums.

“You have to invest in these stadiums that we’re in today,”

the commissioner said. “You need to find new ways of creating

revenue, whether it’s international or otherwise. And that takes

investment. And we need to make sure that the owners have the

capital to be able to do that. And then the pie grows, and everyone

benefits.”

The union has said management wants players to reduce their

share to 41 percent of applied revenues from about 59 percent.

Goodell counters that of the $3.6 billion in incremental revenues

since 2006, players received $2.6 billion.

“We want to structure something that really is going to lead

us into the next decade in a way that’s constructive, so the

players benefit, the teams benefit, and most of all, the game,”

Goodell said.

The league’s current labor contract expires in March 2011.

NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith said

Thursday the chance of a lockout next year is “14” on a scale of 1

to 10.

“I don’t agree with that,” Goodell said. “The owners don’t

win by having a lockout. Shutting down your business is not good

for anybody. And it’s certainly not good for the players. It’s

certainly not good for the fans.”