NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made clear that he doesn’t like seeing games at the end of the regular season turned into de facto exhibitions played by teams that have already locked up their playoff spots and are resting their top players.
But he also says he doesn’t know what to do about it.
“Honestly, we don’t have a solution for it,” Goodell said today on ESPN Radio. “We’ve had a lot of suggestions. A lot of people have talked about things from making scheduling changes to re-seeding the playoffs. A couple people have suggested the idea of potentially modifying the draft in certain ways. But none of these have been studied in depth.”
Still, Goodell said something needs to be done to keep the end of the regular season relevant.
“The integrity of the game is the most important thing,” Goodell said. “We want to make sure the games all season long have meaning. . . . We want to make sure the best players are playing to win.”
At the end of this regular season, many of the best players weren’t playing to win. If some of those same players come out looking flat when they play to win this weekend, that may be the best solution to what Goodell views as a significant problem.