Goodell hopeful Raiders will get resolution soon for '19

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ATLANTA -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said during December's Winter League Meeting that he would like to have a good idea by "early January, February" on where the Oakland Raiders would play in 2019.

With just two days remaining in January, though, the clock is ticking with apparently no resolution in sight in the face of pending litigation.

"Many of those issues are obviously issues that the Raiders are taking a lead on," Goodell said Wednesday during his annual State of the League address during Super Bowl week. "They've been having a variety of discussions with officials looking at their options, making sure that they evaluate them. It's unfortunate the litigation was filed prior to their final season in Oakland, but that's the reality -- that was filed by the city. I'm hopeful that they'll get a resolution soon."

Short of a final answer, however, the Raiders are currently in limbo on where they'll play in 2019 without a lease in Oakland.

Temporary solutions could eventually arise, which include staying in Oakland, and even San Diego has come up as a potential solution before the Raiders move permanently to Las Vegas for the 2020 season.

But the Raiders' predicament extends beyond finding a temporary home. The league needs an answer before setting the 2019 regular-season schedule, which goes back to Goodell's original timeline he discussed at the Winter League Meeting.

"As far as timing, the key thing on the timing is our schedule," Goodell said. "We need to make a schedule obviously for the 2019 season and the sooner the better for us. I think the hope of Mark [Davis] is to continue to be in the Bay Area with his Raider fans."

Here are other topics the Commissioner discussed on Wednesday:

On the lack of minority coaches and whether steps with the Rooney Rule can be taken to create more opportunities: "We don't look at the success or failure of the Rooney Rule in one-year increments. We've had the Rooney Rule around for nearly 20 years. It's had an extraordinary impact on the NFL. Over 20 clubs hired minority coaches since that period of time. It's also been a signal for other industries throughout the world, frankly, to adopt a Rooney Rule to change their organizations and I think it has. It's created opportunity, it's given people an opportunity that haven't had them in the past and that's at the core of what we're looking for. Second, I would say as it relates to offensive coaches. We all believe in talking to the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which we did quite a bit late this Fall, particularly in how we improve the Rooney Rule itself -- which we made changes to that you're aware of. But beyond that, what we wanted is how we can continue to create a deeper pool of coaches so that they have that opportunity when more coaching opportunities arise. We've focused on a few things, we're going to meet with them again at the Combine in February. We're going to have several coaches there with us that are going to give their perspective and we're going to focus on those opportunities to create a deeper pool, more experience, give them opportunity and we believe that is something that is critical for us going forward to make sure we continue the progress that we've had. One of those ideas that we're going to focus on is going to be what we're calling a quarterback seminar, which we'll do in June with Morehouse College, is something that we think with Shack Harris and a number of other NFL executives we can help train, give opportunities, manage and hopefully do some mentoring and help those advance those coaches so that they can get that opportunity."

On no-call in NFC Championship Game: "Let me start just on the basics. Look, we understand the frustration of the fans. I've talked to coach [Sean] Payton, the team, the players. We understand the frustration that they feel right now. We certainly want to address that. Whenever officiating is part of any kind of discussion post-game, it's never a good outcome for us. We know that, our clubs know that, our officials know that. But we also know our officials are human. We also know that they're officiating a game that moves very quickly and have to make snap decisions under difficult circumstances and they're not going to get it right every time. As I said, they're human. We have worked very hard to bring technology in to try to make sure we can do whatever's possible to address those issues. But technology is not going to solve all of those issues. The game is not officiated by robots, it's not going to be. But we have to continue to go down that path. Specifically, on Sunday night I think Coach Payton spoke to Al Riveron, our head of officials, immediately after the game. Al told him that that's the play we want to have called. I have spoken to him, Troy Vincent, the head of football operations, has spoken to him. I've spoken to Mrs. Benson. Coach has also spoken to the competition committee, Rich McKay, the chairman, so there's been a great deal of communication in making sure that they understand that."

"We will look again at instant replay. There have been a variety of proposals over the last, frankly, 15 or 20 years, of 'should replay be expanded?' It does not cover judgment calls. ... The other complication is that it was a no-call. Our coaches and clubs have been very resistant and there has not been support to date about having a replay official or somebody in New York throw a flag when there's no flag. They have not voted for that in the past. It doesn't mean that we won't, it's something that we're going to put to the competition committee, see if there's an answer to that, but the reality is that's been at least an opposition philosophically for many clubs."

On potential changes to the replay process: "As it relates to what I think my role is is to make sure that the competition committee understands that this is critical for us to analyze, to evaluate and try to see if there's a better solution than what we have today. As you know, our rules do evolve. We have made changes to our rules every year. We try to get better, we try to learn, and I think that has been very effective. I think the game has never been healthier. I don't think the game has ever been officiated at this level. It's extraordinary. And I want to say about our officials: They're men and women of high integrity. They're that people that, when people are talking about officiating, they know that's not the outcome they want. So I know they're disappointed also. But they work hard to make sure we improve officiating and I think they do an excellent job. But as I said, they're human. I think the committee will definitely consider this. Always what happens in the competition committee is not just considering a solution, but what are the unintended consequences to that solution? And that's part of this issue of not wanting a replay official or official back in New York throwing the flag on the no-call. If that happens, you could have multiple fouls on a play that people are looking at. Now there's solutions for this, and I'm not suggesting that, that's what the committee has to focus in on. What are the solutions? What are the unintended consequences? And come up with something that we think can keep the competitive nature of our game, but also improve officiating."

On NFL's relationship with Mexico: "Let me start with saying we've had a tremendous relationship with Mexico's officials, the people, the fans and we're very proud of that. We were all a little disappointed when we weren't able to play there this year but I believe all of us did the right thing. As you know, I came down to Mexico and met with the incoming President who is now the President, I believe we established a very good relationship, our partners in Televisa they're all very eager for us to return next season as we are, and I believe we're going to continue that relationship and I believe that we're going to continue grow the game of football in Mexico. I think we're going to be great for Mexico because I think it puts it on our stage. I think it's great for the country and show all of the assets and values that Mexico [has]. But I also think it's great for the NFL and for our fans most importantly."

On free-agent running back Kareem Hunt and Redskins linebacker Reuben Foster: "Kareem Hunt I think everyone knows that he is, that issue is under investigation, has been. He is a free agent. If he is signed by a club, the clubs understand he'll go on the Commissioner's Exempt List at that point in time until the discipline process has concluded whether there is discipline or not discipline we will finish the investigation and then make a determination. So that hopefully will happen soon, but we haven't concluded the investigation and we're working to do that. There has been a tremendous amount of progress though in that investigation over the last I'd say 30 to 60 days. On Reuben Foster you mentioned his charges have been dropped. We continue our investigation into that. Whether the charges are dropped doesn't necessarily mean there isn't a violation of our personal conduct policy. Reuben and I have met before, we will talk again. We will conclude that investigation and make a determination and go from there."

On Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon: "Directly I have not spoken to him since this last suspension. As you know, he's in treatment. He's a young man who has had a lot of challenges. I have gotten to know him, understand the struggles and the challenges he's had to go through. He's working at it. He understands what he has to do. He understands the importance for him is well beyond football, this is for his life and to make sure that he takes care of himself and he understands the importance of getting this issue under control and being able to live a healthy and long life. If he can, we'll evaluate that at the right time but right now the focus is what we can do to help Josh get to that place."

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