Roger Goodell: No changes to Patriots' discipline

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- A last-ditch effort by the Patriots to reclaim their 2016 first-round draft pick has fallen on deaf ears.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed Wednesday that he received a letter from New England owner Robert Kraft, who urged the league to overturn the penalties related to last year's deflated football scandal.

"I did receive a letter from Robert Kraft a few weeks back," Goodell told reporters at the NFL Annual Meeting. "I also responded to him two weeks ago and told (him) that I had considered his views. I didn't think there was any new information in there that would cause us to alter the discipline. There will be no changes to the discipline."

Goodell's response comes as no surprise after NFL Media's Judy Battista reported Monday that there was "zero chance" the Patriots would get their first-round pick back.

The ongoing "Deflategate" scandal hasn't vanished yet, though, with the league still battling Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in court. Arguments were heard earlier this month regarding the league's appeal of a lower court's decision to vacate the four-game suspension Goodell imposed on the Patriots quarterback.

That debate still exists, but New England's first-round pick does not.

Here's what else we learned from Goodell on Wednesday in sunny Florida:

  1. Johnny Manziel isn't about to step on the field anytime soon, but the league is still looking into potentially disciplining the former Browns quarterback for allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend during an argument in January. "Those investigations have been ongoing," Goodell said, noting that the league has yet to come to a satisfactory conclusion on the matter.
  1. Football in China? Goodell revealed that the Rams aren't the only team expressing interest in playing over there. "We know we have lots of fans over there and, more importantly, potential fans over there," Goodell said. "... As far as the teams, we actually have multiple teams that are interested ... we have more than we can handle at this point in time, which is a good issue."
  1. Amid a report that the NFL is negotiating with the NFL Players Association to strip Goodell of his authority to discipline players when it comes to off-the-field infractions, the Commissioner made it clear that "we're not going to negotiate positions publicly," adding: "I've also been very open over the last several years that we have had discussions about the discipline process for decades. We began after we signed our collective bargaining agreement in 2011 to discuss how we can modify the existing plan -- and we're always open to that. ... We are not close to an agreement by any stretch of the imagination."
  1. Goodell said he doesn't anticipate any further discipline against the Falcons for their questioning of a prospect about his sexual orientation. "We spent a fair amount of time on that this week. I spoke to (coach) Dan Quinn," Goodell said. "I actually spoke to the coach who was involved in this matter. I think the Falcons as an organization -- Dan Quinn as a head coach and the coach that is involved -- have all taken ownership of this issue, recognized the mistake that was made, been very forthcoming, have taken the appropriate steps to educate everyone. The coach and I spent probably 20 minutes on the phone talking about his learning experience (and) how he can use this for a positive step. I was impressed with the way he was handling it. The team has taken on training programs ... I don't see any further steps at the league level at this point."
  1. Browns receiver Josh Gordon still hasn't heard from the NFL about his potential reinstatement, with Goodell saying he plans to get an update from his staff "in the next week or so." Goodell confirmed that no decision has been made, telling The Plain Dealer: "I'd rather wait until I sort of get a report and whether it's appropriate to (meet with Gordon). I think it probably depends on the circumstances, and until I understand what's in that report. ... but I might want to do that. I might choose to do that."
  1. On the Chiefs appealing tampering charges stemming from last year's pursuit of wideout Jeremy Maclin, Goodell said: "I do not know if (the appeal is) scheduled yet. I know that they did appeal and we'll accommodate the date. I do expect I would hear it ... It's an important policy to us ... we're going to enforce it when we see it clearly violated."
  1. On the Chargers potentially staying in San Diego: "They do not have to submit a stadium proposal," Goodell said. "We've been obviously with the Chargers on their downtown alternate and continuing dialogue with the city, also. This is something that is going to play out in the community over some period of months here. We will try to play whatever role we can to be productive. We think it would be great to get a new facility built in San Diego."
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