PHOENIX - With momentum continuing to build toward the NFL's returning to the Los Angeles area for the first time in two decades, commissioner Roger Goodell said his main focus is on getting it right, regardless of when a team -- or possibly two -- makes the move.
"If we go back to the Los Angeles market, we want to succeed for the long term, and we have a lot to do to get to that place," Goodell said Wednesday in his closing remarks at the league's annual spring meetings.
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"We're not focused on 2016. If it did happen in '16, we'd have to play in a temporary facility. Right now we're evaluating the opportunities in their existing markets and making sure we understand that and also making sure we understand what it takes to be successful in Los Angeles long term."
Two influential owners, John Mara of the Giants and Robert Kraft of the Patriots, said this week that they believe one or two teams might relocate to Los Angeles as soon as 2016. Giants co-owner Steve Tisch said owners could vote on the matter before the end of this year.
The three teams likely to be in the mix for a move to Los Angeles are the Rams, Chargers and Raiders. The Raiders and Chargers have proposed sharing a stadium, and Rams owner Stan Kroenke has put together a stadium plan that would include two teams.
Goodell said he and other league officials have been in touch with representatives from San Diego, St. Louis and Oakland to see if it is feasible for those cities to improve their stadium situations to keep their teams.
Goodell also touched on several other topics:
He said attorney Ted Wells' investigation continues into whether the Patriots purposely deflated footballs before the AFC Championship Game. "We have not put a time frame on Ted Wells,'' he said. "We've asked him to be thorough, complete.''
Adrian Peterson's situation will be addressed soon. Goodell said he expects to meet before April 15 with the Vikings running back, who spent most of last season on the Commissioner's Exempt List after being charged with injury to a child.
Goodell said the league continues to look for information about Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy's case. Hardy also is on the Commissioner's Exempt List after being found guilty by a judge last summer of assaulting his then-girlfriend in North Carolina. Charges eventually were dropped, but Hardy is likely to face a suspension.
Expanding the playoffs from 12 to 14 teams remains a topic for discussion, although it won't happen this season. "We want to make the regular season more important, more exciting, and have more teams in the race."
Goodell said the league would continue monitoring potential tampering violations in free agency. The Patriots had filed tampering charges against the Jets, and on Tuesday the Jets filed charges against the Patriots over comments by Kraft.
Goodell said he had a good meeting with Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, who has been involved in several off-field incidents. He was investigated on rape allegations as a freshman but was not charged.
"I think we were incredibly clear about our expectations of anybody who enters the NFL . . . how they represent not only their franchise, but the NFL. The conversation was very candid -- extremely candid. This is a young man who understands his responsibility, and now it's up to him to live up to that."