MIAMI – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell gave his annual State of the NFL press conference in Miami Wednesday. Here are six takeaways from that session:
1. Goodell announced that the NFL will return to Mexico City for one game at Estadio Azteca during both the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Teams, dates and times will be released in conjunction with the release of the league schedule in April.
2. There were a few numbers the commissioner highlighted: Nearly 70 percent of all games this season were within one score in the fourth quarter. Eighty percent of the games in 2019 featured at least one starting quarterback under the age of 27, the most in the game's history.
View photos of the Detroit Lions surprising NFL Next 100 Super Bowl contest winner Judah at Knapp Forest Elementary School in Grand Rapids, Mich.
3. Goodell was asked about the prospect of expanding the regular season from 16 games to 17, as owners have proposed to the players in the upcoming new collective bargaining agreement. He used the phrase "restructured" instead of expanded because there'd be a reduction in the number of preseason games played under the current proposal.
"We believe that we can restructure the seasons in a way that will be smart for the future of the game," Goodell said. "But those discussions are in context of our labor negotiations. They're in the context of working with our medical people and we've shared all that. We continue to have that kind of dialogue with our players, and we'll continue to have that."
4. The league recently completed its latest hiring cycle and didn't produce a single African American head coach. The league mandates that each organization must interview at least one minority candidate for those openings – known as Rooney Rule.
"It's clear we are not where we want to be on this level," Goodell said. "It's clear we need to change and do something different."
Expect some changes to the rule moving forward.
5. Goodell and the league's ownership would like a new collective bargaining agreement by the start of the season. The current deal ends after the 2020 season.
"We obviously have a lot of things that we would have to put in place, both the union and the NFL once we do reach an agreement, and I think we're all sort of anxious to get to that place, but we're also going to be careful and make sure we get to the right place," Goodell said.
6. There continues to be no timeline to place a franchise in London. The NFL has grown rapidly in the UK. The league's No. 1 priority as it pertains to the UK market is to continue to grow and build the fan base, and then decide if they have a franchise-ready market.