Today, we were live from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., with Patriots owner Bob Kraft co-hosting the show. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stopped by to talk about the state of the league.
What is the single most daunting task that you're facing right now?
Goodell: Well, the biggest thing is always keep an eye on the game. Make sure the game stays strong. And the second thing is make sure we're sensitive to our business partners and make sure we look at technology and see how it can help the game.
This offseason, you commented about the high rookie salaries, including Jake Long's $57.5 million contract, $30 million guaranteed and the need for a rookie wage scale.
Goodell: Well, it's not specific to Jake Long. He's a great young man and a great player. The concept for me is that I don't believe we should be giving rookie players who haven't performed at the NFL level that kind of extraordinary money. I think that money should go to the veterans. We have a salary cap system and that's taking away money from the veterans. What we believe in very firmly is you should perform at the NFL level and then the money will come after that.
There's been a lot of talk about the NFL Network and what the next move is to get that into more homes. There was talk about an ESPN merger at some point. What's the next step to get into more homes? What is the state of the NFL Network coming into this season and what can you do to shake it up?
Goodell: First, it's still a very young network and we think an extremely entertaining network. Second, this is a long-term strategy for the NFL. We're in this for the long haul and we're going to be there and we think it's compelling television. We want to make sure that we have had more content to make it more compelling and two of the large operators, they'll have to give it to their consumers. They're demanding it and I think they'll get it eventually.
The way it's set up now with the exhibition games and the regular season. What are you going to do with that?
Goodell: We have a 20-game season and 16 regular season (games) and we always talk about how we improve our content and how we improve our game. It's not something that meets the NFL standards. We're looking to see how we can flip that content.