PHOENIX – The NFL wont be adding playoff teams for 2013, and the champions of last season, the Baltimore Ravens, could open on the road because of a conflict with the Orioles.
As the owners meetings opened Monday, scheduling was a main topic.
Traditionally, the season has opened with the Super Bowl winners playing host on the Thursday night after Labor Day.
The Ravens wont have that opportunity unless baseballs Orioles, who share parking lots at Camden Yards with the Ravens M&T Bank Stadium, will move their night game Sept. 5 to the afternoon.
So far, theres been no progress, and Sept. 4 is not an option because its the first night of Rosh Hashanah.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell twice has spoken with his MLB counterpart, Bud Selig, seeking a solution.
Unfortunately, the only (other) option is to take the Ravens on the road, Goodell said. We think that is wrong for the Ravens fans. We would not want that to happen.
Goodell also said the playoffs will not expand this season, but it will be discussed for the future. Last December, Goodell spoke about adding two or four teams to the current 12-team format.
Surrounded by six Pro Football Hall of Famers at a news conference, Goodell and Jim Brown announced that the league will pay $42 million as part of a settlement with a group of retired players who sued over the use of their names and images without their consent.
We have a common good fund in our agreement that will allow us to reach out and help a lot of our players who really need help, Brown said, and not only that, but to help their spouses who some are suffering. We have individuals who are homeless.
Moments later, Goodell came down hard on teams that consider asking questions about a players sexual orientation at the scouting combine.
Michigan quarterback-turned-receiver Denard Robinson, Colorado tight end Nick Kasa and Michigan State running back LeVeon Bell indicated they were asked about it last month in Indianapolis.
Were a professional organization. Thats unacceptable, Goodell said.
We will do things the right way. We will give them that education and that training. I hope that that will solve the problem.
Colts keep Vaughn
The Colts re-signed cornerback Cassius Vaughn, who made 11 starts, finishing with a career-high 70 tackles and two fumble recoveries. He returned one interception for a touchdown.
Titans release QB
Tennessee released veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, 37, a move buying the team some more cap space after they couldnt work out an agreement trimming his $5.5 million salary for 2013.
Kraft defends Pats
New England owner Robert Kraft said his teams contract offer to Wes Welker was better than what the receiver got in Denver (2 years, $12 million).
Kraft says Welker could have received $8 million in the first year of a two-year contract with New England.
Around the league
New Orleans signed tight end Benjamin Watson to a three-year contract, and also re-signed special teams leader Courtney Roby and linebacker Ramon Humber.
Oakland signed defensive tackle Vance Walker. Pittsburgh signed tight end Matt Spaeth. Washington re-signed right tackle Tyler Polumbus to a two-year deal. New England signed offensive tackle Will Svitek. Dallas re-signed linebacker Ernie Sims to a one-year deal worth a reported $715,000.