Nov 11, 2022; Munich, Germany; Large helmets of the Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants during fan activation event at Odeonsplatz. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Goodell: ‘At least’ 3 more games coming to Germany

Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed Saturday that more NFL games are coming to Germany.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks will play the league’s first regular-season contest in the country on Sunday at Allianz Arena in Munich.

The NFL has committed to playing one more game in Germany in each of the next three seasons through 2025.

Goodell told a fan forum on Saturday that he “wouldn’t be surprised if it expanded beyond that at some point soon,” per the Associated Press.

Germany is the NFL’s top market in Europe. More than 800,000 fans entered a queue to try to get tickets for Sunday’s game, according to Brett Gosper, head of NFL Europe and U.K.

Munich and Frankfurt each will host two games under the current agreement.

–Field Level Media

Oct 17, 2021; London, England, United Kingdom;  fans look on during a game featuring the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

NFL uniforms to include international flair in Weeks 4, 5

More than 200 NFL players, coaches and executives will recognize their heritages by wearing the flag of their nationality over the next two weeks.

Players have the option to wear a decal of the flag of another country on their helmets, alongside the American flag, provided they lived there for at least two years or have a parent or grandparent born there, the league said Wednesday. Coaches and executives will wear a pin on their game-day attire.

The NFL will be on the international stage the next two weeks as the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints meet Sunday in London. The New York Giants and Green Bay Packers will square off in the same city in Week 5.

“The NFL is proud of the extensive collection of nationalities and heritage of its players across the League,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We recognize the many cultures they represent and the excitement they bring to their home fans, which ultimately helps grow our game.”

More than 50 countries and territories will be represented.

Among the players to wear a foreign flag will be receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown of the Detroit Lions, whose helmet will bear the flag of Germany.

“My mom is from Germany, so having German grandparents, speaking German, every summer the heritage and culture has been a part of my whole life. I’m half German. It’s a part of me. I love it,” he said. “In my young career, I have already been amazed to see the influence my culture and heritage has had and I’m excited to continue to see the German representation have an impact within our game.”

Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots is among the coaches will wear a flag pin. He will celebrate his Croatian heritage.

–Field Level Media

Apr 28, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces Northern Iowa offensive tackle Trevor Penning as the nineteenth overall pick to the New Orleans Saints during the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft at the NFL Draft Theater. Mandatory Credit: Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Goodell believes ‘Sunday Ticket’ will land with a streaming service

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in an interview Friday that the “NFL Sunday Ticket” package will be heading to a streaming service, with a final decision coming by this fall.

“These discussions have been going on for well over a year,” Goodell told CNBC. “It’s an important decision for us because these assets are really valuable to us. I clearly believe we’ll be moving to a streaming service. I think that’s best for the consumers at this stage.

“But we have so much interest right now and there’s so much innovation around that and how we’re going to be able to change the way people watch football. I think we’ll probably have some decision by the fall.”

Sunday Ticket, the package that lets consumers watch out-of-market NFL games, debuted in 1994. DirecTV has been the exclusive carrier since its launch, but its contract expires after the 2022 NFL season.

When the deal with the satellite provider ends, a streamer will takes its place. Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+ and ESPN+ have all reportedly bid for the rights. The New York Post reported last November that HBO Max could be a dark horse in the race.

Goodell also announced that the league was debuting its own direct-to-consumer streaming service, NFL+, in time for the 2022 season. He did not go into detail about the type of content the new platform would offer.

–Field Level Media

Nov 3, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder looks on prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Congress: Commanders owner Dan Snyder conducted ‘shadow’ probe

Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder conducted a “shadow investigation” into allegations that he oversaw a toxic workplace culture, according to a document released Wednesday by a Congressional committee.

The U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Reform issued a 29-page memo, supported by more than 600 pages of depositions, based on its eight-month investigation.

Among the findings, the report alleges Snyder attempted to discredit former employees who made accusations of workplace sexual harassment and also hired private investigators to intimidate witnesses.

Snyder, 57, declined an invitation to testify before the committee, saying he would be out of town for business.

Committee chair Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) said Wednesday that she will subpoena Snyder to appear.

“The NFL is unwilling or unable to hold Mr. Snyder accountable,” Maloney said. “That is why I am announcing now my intent to issue a subpoena for Mr. Snyder for a deposition next week. The committee will not be deterred in its investigation into the Washington Commanders.”

The NFL fined the Commanders $10 million in June 2021 following an investigation led by Beth Wilkinson. Snyder stepped away from day-to-day operations at that time.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell testified for more than two hours before the committee on Wednesday.

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) asked Goodell if the NFL planned to take further actions against Snyder.

“I don’t have the authority to remove him, Congresswoman,” Goodell said.

An owner can only be removed by a three-quarters majority vote (24 of 32) of fellow owners, although Goodell does have the authority to recommend a vote.

“It is clear to me that the workplace in Washington was unprofessional and unacceptable in numerous respects: bullying, widespread disrespect toward colleagues, use of demeaning language, public embarrassment, and harassment,” Goodell said in his prepared opening remarks.

“… The workplace at the Commanders today bears no resemblance to the workplace that has been described to this committee.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2020; Ashburn, VA, USA; Washington Redskins head coach Ron Rivera looks on as owner Daniel Snyder speaks during his introductory press conference at Inova Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

House Oversight Committee wants Roger Goodell, Dan Snyder to testify

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder received requests to appear before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on June 22 as part of the investigation into “hostile workplace culture.”

A statement from the committee said letters were sent to Goodell and Snyder, among others, detailing the scope of the congressional investigation that began in October 2021.

“It’s in their best interest to come and tell their own side of the story in a manner they would find illuminating for us,” Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois) of the request, according to ESPN. “What I find often on Capitol Hill is that when a party comes forward voluntarily as opposed to being subpoenaed, it ends up having a better chance of being able to explain the situation rather than events overtaking it.”

The NFL said it plans to reply to the request for Goodell to testify soon.

“The NFL has cooperated extensively throughout the Committee’s lengthy investigation of the Washington Commanders, including by producing more than 460,000 pages of documents and responding to numerous questions in writing and in conversations with the Committee’s staff,” NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said in a statement.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-California) alleged that a cover up appears to be in play based on the Common Interest Agreement signed by the NFL and the Commanders. The agreement was put in place before the NFL’s investigation into the franchise’s culture, which Speier said “suggests the NFL never intended the investigation to be independent or made public.”

Speier referred to the Commanders’ organization as a “sordid cesspool” and questioned the motives of Goodell blocking the release of the full investigation into the Commanders’ workplace and Snyder’s behavior.

Since the initial investigation wrapped on the NFL’s watch, a new allegation — from Tiffani Johnston, a former marketing and events coordinator for the franchise — was shared at a congressional roundtable. The NFL opened another investigation, Goodell said.

And in April, the Federal Trade Commission was notified by the Committee on Oversight that a former employee under Snyder asserted the franchise maintains two sets of accounting and financial records. The employee, Jason Friedman, said he has since met with the House Committee.

–Field Level Media

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA;  Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Goodell: Exempt list not in play for Deshaun Watson

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday that Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is not likely to be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list while his civil-court accusations of sexual misconduct are resolved.

A grand jury in Harris County, Texas, did not indict Watson earlier this month, dismissing nine criminal complaints based on a lack of enough evidence. Watson still faces accusations by 22 women in civil court.

Before his trade to the Browns, Watson was inactive for all 17 of the Houston Texans’ games in 2021. He had demanded a trade before the accusations against him became public, the Texans chose not to suspend him and Goodell declined to put him on the commissioner’s exempt list, a tool within the personal conduct policy which essentially places a player on paid administrative leave.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday at NFL annual meetings in Palm Beach, Fla., Goodell said the resolution of Watson’s situation on the criminal side meant he would not use the exempt list in 2022, just as he hadn’t in 2021.

“I think we were very clear over the last year that the civil cases were in play over the last year were also — the only thing that’s changed is the criminal element has been at least resolved,” Goodell said. “And that was an important element in the context of the commissioner’s exempt (list) that we’ve discussed with our players association. That was important. If the criminal had proceeded, that would more likely have triggered the commissioner’s exempt. I think at this point, a civil case in and of itself would not do that.

“If there’s a violation of the personal conduct policy, that may trigger something, but that would more likely trigger some kind of discipline in some fashion.”

The contract extension Watson signed with the Browns appears to prepare for the likelihood that he’ll miss some part of 2022 serving a suspension. Though he signed for a record $230 million guaranteed, his base salary in 2022 — the figure that would be affected by a suspension or fine — is only $1 million.

–Field Level Media

Oct 25, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) reacts after a touchdown pass to wide receiver Will Fuller (not pictured) during the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Goodell: NFL investigation of Deshaun Watson ‘ongoing’

Nothing to report is the status of the NFL’s investigation into Deshaun Watson’s alleged off-field conduct, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said, describing the league probe into the Houston Texans’ quarterback as “ongoing.”

Watson has been the subject of a legal investigation in Houston with allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct from 22 women who filed civil lawsuits.

Goodell said the NFL continues to gather information while being mindful of not interfering with the police investigation, which remains active.

“Obviously, the police have been investigating, and we don’t have access to all of that information at this point in time,” Goodell said Tuesday at the NFL owner’s meetings. “We pride ourselves on not interfering in that and in being as cooperative as we can in order to get all the facts. I think that process is still ongoing.”

Goodell has authority to place Watson on the commissioner’s exempt list at any time when, or if, the league determines his status warrants forcing him to be away from the team.

Use of the exempt list isn’t common. Goodell did exercise it to bench then-Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson amid a felony indictment for reckless or negligent injury of his son in 2014. Peterson received his full salary but was barred from all team activities, including workouts and practices.

Prior to that, Michael Vick (Philadelphia Eagles) and Jonathan Vilma (New Orleans Saints) were “unrostered” using the exemption.

Should the Texans attempt to take action on Watson’s trade demand, the NFL might decide to step in and make a firm decision on making him inactive during the investigation.

To date, league involvement hasn’t been necessary. Watson was inactive for all seven games this season and the Texans are not planning to make him active.

Tuesday is the NFL trade deadline and the Texans are reportedly asking for three first-round picks for Watson.

Watson has a no-trade clause and has only waived it for the Miami Dolphins. Watson reportedly vetoed a trade to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Carolina Panthers, meanwhile, are reportedly not pursuing a deal for Watson. The Panthers traded for current starter Sam Darnold in the offseason, but benched him during a 25-3 road loss on Sunday to the New York Giants, the team’s fourth straight loss.

–Field Level Media

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a memorial service for NFL legend Bart Starr at the Wright Center in Birmingham, Ala., on Sunday, June 9, 2019. 

Jc Starrmemorial 01

Roger Goodell: NFL won’t release WFT report

The NFL will not release the details of the investigation into workplace misconduct involving the Washington Football Team, commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday.

Speaking after a meeting of the league’s owners in New York, Goodell cited the request for anonymity made by some of those who were interviewed by investigators.

Goodell said, “We’re very conscious of making sure we’re protecting those who came forward. They were incredibly brave, incredibly open, and we respect the pain that they probably went through all over again to come forward. That was a very high priority.”

However, one of the whistleblowers, ex-Washington Football Team employee Rachel Engleson, disputed Goodell’s assertion regarding the report and asked for it to be made public.

She tweeted, “This is false @nflcommish. We were told our identities would be kept confidential in a written report. Meaning, if I spoke about something that happened to me, there would be no way Dan (Snyder) or others could trace the info back to me. Not that there would be no written report. C’mon.”

Attorney Lisa Banks also tweeted, “I represent 40 former employees of the WFT who participated in the investigation. Goodell’s statement is false.”

Snyder, who owns the Washington Football Team, was replaced as head of the team’s day-to-day operations as a result of the report, with his wife, Tanya, taking over. The team also received a $10 million fine based on the investigation’s findings.

Goodell said Tuesday of Daniel Snyder, “I do think he’s been held accountable. More importantly, steps were put in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Two members of Congress last week asked for the report to be made public. The five-page letter stated, in part, “We have serious concerns about what appears to be widespread abusive workplace conduct at the WFT and about the NFL’s handling of this matter. …

“The NFL’s lack of transparency about the problems it recently uncovered raise questions about the seriousness with which it has addressed bigotry, racism, sexism, and homophobia — setting troubling precedent for other workplaces.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; General view of the helmet belonging to Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Congressional Democrats seek info from WFT

The investigation into the Washington Football Team’s reputed toxic work atmosphere moved to a new level Thursday when two Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives sought to get Congress involved.

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York wrote a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, seeking “all documents and communications obtained in connection with the investigation into the WFT, its management, its owners, and any other matter relating to or resulting from the WFT investigation,” multiple media outlets reported.

Maloney chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

The five-page letter included, “We have serious concerns about what appears to be widespread abusive workplace conduct at the WFT and about the NFL’s handling of this matter. …

“The NFL’s lack of transparency about the problems it recently uncovered raise questions about the seriousness with which it has addressed bigotry, racism, sexism, and homophobia — setting troubling precedent for other workplaces.”

The league was given two weeks to turn over the requested documents to Congress.

The NFL completed a thorough investigation of the Washington Football Team this summer, the league ultimately declaring, “Bullying and intimidation frequently took place and many described the culture as one of fear.”

The team was fined $10 million, and Daniel Snyder was ordered to hand over day-to-day operations of the club to his wife, Tanya Snyder.

The league looked at 650,000 emails, and some of them, written by then TV analyst Jon Gruden to then-WFT president Bruce Allen, were leaked in recent weeks. Gruden resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after the publication of emails he sent that included racist, misogynistic and homophobic language.

Further email leaks showed a tight relationship between Allen and NFL legal counsel Jeff Pash, with the correspondence revealing that the pair mocked some NFL policies. To date, the league has stood behind Pash.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA;  Los Angeles Rams plays their final home game of the season against the Arizona Cardinals in an empty SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Goodell: Expectation is for full stadiums in fall

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he anticipates packed venues across the league this fall.

“All of us in the NFL want to see every one of our fans back,” Goodell said Tuesday. “Football is simply not the same without the fans and we expect to have full stadiums in the 2021 season.”

Games went on in 2020 in either empty stadiums or those with fans numbering well below capacity because of the threat of COVID-19. But with the U.S. poised to administer three million vaccinations every day, Goodell is optimistic.

Further, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told ESPN’s “First Take” earlier this month that there is reason for a positive outlook.

“I hope that by the time we get to the end of the summer, the beginning of the fall, we’ll be very close to what we could consider ‘normal,’” Fauci said.

NFL total attendance in 2020 was 1.2 million, down from nearly 17 million in 2019. Most of the fans attended stadiums in Texas and Florida, where state regulations allowed greater capacity.

–Field Level Media