NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced Friday that he planned to revise the league's personal conduct policy, and he took a meaningful step in that direction by meeting with 11 former players Tuesday in New York to discuss ways to improve the plan.
Goodell and executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent led a 31/2-hour discussion, the first of a series of meetings that will include a wide range of internal and external perspectives to help the commissioner revamp the policy. The league has been rocked by a series of domestic violence cases in recent months, with four players -- including former Ravens running back Ray Rice and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson -- currently serving suspensions.
The former players attending the meeting were center Matt Birk, defensive end Patrick Kerney, former Jets defensive lineman Marty Lyons, defensive end/linebacker Willie McGinest, wide receiver Eddie Mason, former Giants tackle Roman Oben, former Jets running back Tony Paige, defensive end Robert Porcher, Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary, defensive back Scott Turner and former Giants running back Charles Way.
"[The meeting] was about creating standards for the personal conduct policy, maybe removing some of the legal jargon so everyone is clear on it," Oben said. "Mike Singletary talked about creating a culture of excellence and what the league represents. The talent [of players] used to drive the brand, but now these kids coming up are taught that they are their own brand. But you still have to operate under the integrity of the [NFL] shield. The relationship with the players and the NFL should be considered a family."
Oben said the players did not discuss specifics of the Rice case, which is under appeal.