An NBA owner -- former owner, that is -- will be on the agenda when NFL owners gather in Atlanta on Tuesday for their spring meeting. Former L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his racist remarks caught on tape earlier this spring will serve as an entry point for a discussion about the league's culture and responsibility among owners, management, coaches and players. That continues on the theme of workplace respect and conduct that dominated the league's annual meetings in Orlando in March.
The discussion of Sterling's remarks coincides with the first appearance of Colts owner Jim Irsay, his first meeting since being arrested for DUI and four felony counts this offseason. Irsay has not been disciplined by the NFL.
Rule changes, the site of the 2018 Super Bowl and the future of the NFL Draft are also on the agenda for owners this week. Let's run down what the owners will be discussing on Tuesday:
NFL Draft dates and location
Pushed back two weeks in May for the first time, the league's draft netted its highest ratings ever, with nearly 46 million viewers tuning in to watch. Its ratings towered over those for NBA and NHL playoff games. That's likely to force a permanent change, according to insiders like Peter King. He laid out a scenario in which the draft could start on the last day of April, continue into May and even move from its longtime home at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
Owners will discuss the future of the draft, including stretching it out to four days and moving from location to location.
Now a topic for a couple of years, the NFL will continue to discuss expanding the playoffs from 12 to 14 teams. However, it is not likely that the owners will vote on the playoff system yet, according to Mark Maske of the Washington Post. If the league does adopt an expanded playoff system, it's believed that the earliest it could take place is the 2015 season.
Under the current system, both conferences send six teams to the playoffs with the top two seeds earning a bye week. If the playoffs expand to 14 teams, each conference would be represented by seven teams. In that format, only the top seed would earn a bye with a total of six wild-card games on the first weekend.
To pass, 24 teams would need to vote for change.
The league passed a handful of rule changes at its March meeting, and tabled several more for future discussion. Among the items still up for review by NFL owners:
- Doing away with overtime in preseason games.
- Expanding the practice squad from eight to 10 players.
- Expanding the active roster from 46 to 49 players for Thursday night games.
- Allowing teams to open the dome at halftime if the weather permits.
- Adding cameras at goal lines, side lines and end lines.
Owners may not vote on these issues in Atlanta this week, but they're sure to make for some chatter.
Super Bowl LII
The 2018 Super Bowl's destination will be revealed on Tuesday. The finalists are New Orleans, Minneapolis and Indianapolis, all of which have past experience in hosting the big game. New Orleans has hosted the Super Bowl an incredible 10 times, the first of which was for the 1969-1970 season at old Tulane Stadium.
Super Bowl LII
Super Bowl LII
Indianapolis hosted Super Bowl XLVI between the New York Giants and New England Patriots. The game went off without a hitch despite being a cold-weather city. The job done by Indianapolis drew rave reviews, giving so-called "Naptown" a solid chance to land another Super Bowl.
Minneapolis played host to Super Bowl XXVI when the Washington Redskins trounced the Buffalo Bills 37-24 back in January of 1992. The city has not hosted a Super Bowl since, but with a new stadium coming it stands a better chance.