Asked about Brees' comment during an appearance on "NFL AM" on Friday, Goodell discussed his role in the league's disciplinary process and how he will always defend the NFL shield.
"I'm involved with very few discipline issues throughout the league, but when they involve the integrity of the league and something that's at the core principles of where we are, then I am going to be involved. And we want to get the input (from players). We want to make sure we're right," Goodell said.
As it pertains specifically to the Saints' bounty program, Goodell pointed out that the league tried to talk to the players, who chose not to speak, and that the league's response was appropriate.
"We believe that the facts are clear that this issue was ongoing in the bounty case with the Saints and that we responded appropriately," Goodell added. "Because that's protecting all our playersâ¦We will protect not only the players, but the game. And that's our No. 1 objective and we'll continue to do that."
During his appearance, Goodell clarified that the "18,000 documents" number that's been floating around throughout the investigation referred to the total number of documents that needed to sorted through, and not all of those documents pertained specifically to the bounty program. Goodell reiterated his contention that the investigation was thorough and fair and said that there was a recent acknowledgement in court that a bounty program existed in New Orleans.
"As I understand it, even in court last week, there was an acknowledgement that there's a pay-for-performance system in place over the last couple of years and that it paid for players to be carted off the field. That's a bounty program."
Goodell conducted his "NFL AM" from Canton, Ohio, where the Saints will be arriving for Sunday night's game against the Arizona Cardinals. Though he's likely persona non grata in the Saints' locker room, Goodell would welcome a chance to meet with the team.
"Our schedule is pretty full here right now and I'm not sure when the team's coming in," Goodell said. "But I certainly would welcome any opportunity to engage with them. That's certainly something I would encourage and that's something we would always do."