Skip to main content

Goodell willing to see 'credible' info; Pro Bowl changes considered

HONOLULU -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is willing to pursue any believable information in the Spygate case. He simply doesn't know if any exists.

Goodell said Wednesday the league has been in touch with representatives of former New England Patriots assistant coach Matt Walsh, now a golf pro in Maui. Walsh, who did video work for the Patriots when they won their first Super Bowl after the 2001 season, was not interviewed as part of the NFL's investigation into New England illegally taping opposing coaches in the last two years.

Sen. Arlen Specter, with whom Goodell said he expects to meet in the next week or so, questioned the thoroughness of the NFL's investigation that led to a $500,000 fine for coach Bill Belichick, a $250,000 fine for the Patriots organization, and the loss of this year's first-round draft pick. Specter also wondered why Goodell had the six tapes turned over by the Patriots destroyed, along with notes the team gave Goodell.

"If there is new information that is credible, new material that could be credible that would help us," Goodell said, "yes, we'll look at it.

"We've had people come to us over the last six months with material that we pursued and it didn't lead to anything."

Walsh, who did not return phone messages and an e-mail from The Associated Press, reportedly videotaped the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough the day before the February 2002 Super Bowl against New England.

"We were aware of this before," Goodell said. "We pursued it and weren't able to get any information that was credible. We were aware of some of the rumors and we pursued some of them and we continue that. From Day 1, I said if we feel there is new information that's inconsistent with what we've been told (by the Patriots), I reserve the right to reopen it.

"The staffs are talking about making sure (Walsh) has the ability to talk and what information he might have."

Goodell spoke during the AFC team practice for the Pro Bowl. He was asked if the league received any information about other teams taping opposing coaches' signals.

"We had and pursued it and found nothing credible," Goodell said.

Asked why the Patriots turned over six tapes, he replied: "That's what they had. My guess is they taped over some of those from time to time ... their notes were reflective of that."

Taping over previous video is not unusual for NFL teams.

"We asked for all the tapes and anything that could've been done that was inconsistent with our policy," he added.

He also mentioned a possible rotation of sites for the Pro Bowl. Honolulu has it on Sunday and again next February. After that, the NFL has no agreements with any venue.

"I think that's viable," he said of a rotation, "and that's an alternative, obviously. Hawaii is important to us and has been great to us."

He also said staging the Pro Bowl the week before the Super Bowl -- without Super Bowl participants, of course -- was a consideration. Any such change would require approval from the NFL Players Association.

Goodell also mingled with several players, spending about 10 minutes talking to Ravens safety Ed Reed, then chatting with Peyton Manning and Derek Anderson before heading back to league headquarters in New York.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.