Goodell fine with replacement officials
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With no end in sight to the labor dispute between the NFL and its officials, commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that he is comfortable with the idea of using replacement officials in preseason games.
Goodell said he doesn't think using officials with less experience will pose a safety risk to players.
"That's why we've been training them for the last two months and why they're on the field now, is to make sure they're prepared, they understand the rules," Goodell said at a visit to Green Bay's training camp in Wisconsin.
Replacement officials were on the field at practice Wednesday and are expected to stay in Green Bay through Friday for a "Family Night" scrimmage. The Hall of Fame Game between the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints is Sunday in Canton, Ohio.
Members of the NFL Referees Association were locked out in June after talks broke down.
"We are in discussions with them," Goodell said. "We've had discussions recently. Hopefully we'll have more discussions with them in the near future. But as you can see, we're preparing for the season and we will have officials on the field. We hope that the officials from last season will be on the field again this year but to date, we haven't been able to get an agreement that makes sense for both parties."
Safety Ed Reed delivered a much different message than his cryptic offseason comments when he hinted at a potential holdout and contemplated retirement. Now, this former NFL Defensive Player of the Year said he wants to remain with the Ravens on a long-term basis and has communicated that desire to general manager Ozzie Newsome. Reed, 33, is entering the final year of a six-year, $40 million contract and is due a $7.2 million base salary this season.
Chaz Schilens was offended by cornerback Antonio Cromartie's recent comments that he thinks he's the New York Jets' second-best wide receiver, calling it a "slight" to the players at his position. Cromartie, who could play some at receiver this season, was asked on "ESPN First Take" Tuesday where he thinks he would rank on the depth chart. He said he would be behind only Santonio Holmes -- putting him ahead of every other receiver, including Schilens, who signed as a free agent in March. Schilens said Wednesday that they will "address it on the football field."
Also, with just a few days until Holley Mangold makes her Olympic debut, coach Rex Ryan still hasn't given up on trying to convince her older brother Nick to go to London. Even though Ryan gave Mangold his blessing earlier this offseason to travel overseas for his sister's Olympic weightlifting competition Sunday, the Jets center repeatedly has said he won't leave training camp because of his commitment to the team.
Running back Ryan Mathews suffered minor injuries in a car crash and is listed as "day to day." Mathews lost control of his BMW while entering the Interstate 8 freeway Monday and hit another car. A California Highway Patrol officer said Mathews might have been driving too fast, but no drugs nor alcohol was involved in the crash. The other driver wasn't hurt.
Arizona signed running back Thomas Clayton and guard-center Rich Ohrnberger. The Cardinals also released wide receiver Stanley Arukwe and waived injured center Ryan Bartholomew.
First Published August 2, 2012 9:59 am