NFL makes pads mandatory

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stands on stage as he announces a draft selection during the 2012...

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stands on stage as he announces a draft selection during the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City. (Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP)

John Kryk, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:30 PM ET

NFL clubs voted Tuesday to make knee pads and thigh pads mandatory equipment again for players.

At his spring-meeting news conference in Atlanta, commissioner Roger Goodell implied this move isn't a knee-jerk reaction to complaints that the league doesn't take player safety seriously enough, what with more than 80 concussion lawsuits now filed by ex-players.

"We have raised mandatory pads for at least three years now, and we have discussed it with the union, most recently this spring," Goodell said. "Every other level of football requires these pads."

Goodell said the CEO of Nike recently told him that NBA players wear more pads from the hips down than NFLers do.

"There's something wrong with that," Goodell said.

The NFLPA is expected to grieve the decision, citing lack of consultation.

TWO BY-LAW CHANGES APPROVED: The trade deadline was moved forward by two weeks, from the Tuesday after the sixth weekend to the Tuesday after the eighth, which this season is Oct. 30. And clubs can now return to the active list one player placed on the reserve/injured list after the first game.

APPEAL DENIED: Arbitrator Stephen Burbank denied the joint appeal by the Redskins ($36 million) and Cowboys ($10 million) of their NFL-imposed salary-cap reductions. Team owners Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones (respectively) apparently now accept the decision. The NFL claims both teams overspent in 2010, the "uncapped" year before the lockout.

ROGER THAT: In a nutshell, the commissioner also said:

- The league wants to figure out how to make wireless Internet available on handheld devices for every fan at every NFL game -- perhaps experimenting as soon as this season's Super Bowl.

- The Pro Bowl is not dead ... yet. It will be held after this season in either Honolulu or New Orleans, so long as they figure out how to "improve the quality of the game." Otherwise, "we shouldn't play it."

- That regarding the many bountygate appeals, "Sure, you second-guess yourself," and that some day the proof indicting the four suspended Saints players will be made public.

LATE MONDAY TRADE: The Bucs sent veteran TE Kellen Winslow Jr. to the Seahawks for a conditional 2013 draft pick, then signed former Colts TE Dallas Clark.

 


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