NEW YORK -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with the five Rooney brothers today for 2 1/2 hours and described it at as "another step in the process" in resolving the Steelers ownership restructuring.
"I think everyone now has an even better understanding of the issues," Goodell said. Goodell indicated that the league and its owners would certainly prefer that Dan Rooney and his son Art II, who is president of the Steelers, remain in control of the team.
"There's great respect for the Rooney family in the National Football League,'' Goodell told reporters afterward, "and we want to do everything we can to ensure that the Steelers continue to be operated by the Rooneys and the way they've been operated."
Joining the Rooney brothers at the meeting were three other NFL team owners, Tom Benson of the New Orleans Saints, Mike Brown of Cincinnati, and Jerry Richardson of the Carolina Panthers. Goodell explained that he invited those three because ultimately NFL owners must approve by a 3/4 majority any change in the Steelers ownership.
None of the five Rooney brothers, including club chairman Dan Rooney, was immediately available to the handful of reporters covering the event at NFL headquarters in Manhattan.