Oct 26 (The Sports Xchange) - Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Saturday that the NFL wants teams in Los Angeles and London, while speaking at a fan forum for Euro NFLers.
But which city would he prefer get an NFL franchise first?
"It doesn't matter," Goodell said. "I'd love to be back in Los Angeles. But it has to be done the right way, we have to do it successfully. ...
"I want both, but it doesn't matter which one is first."
The NFL has been trying to land a team in Los Angeles since the Raiders went back to Oakland in 1995 and the league is playing a series of games in London to generate global interest in the sport.
"You are proving you are worthy of a franchise," Goodell said to the London fans.
Goodell said the decision San Francisco 49ers pass rusher Aldon Smith made to enter a treatment program for substance abuse could affect any punishment he receives from the NFL for his off-the-field problems.
"Certainly, the issue here isn't to discipline players. It's to stop the behavior," Goodell said. "Aldon has voluntarily said, 'I need help.'
"We're obviously there to support him, and the 49ers did a great job getting him into a facility to try to get help. We support that."
Smith will miss his fifth straight game since entering a treatment program on Sept. 23, three days after his second drunk-driving-related arrest since entering the league in 2011.
The 49ers plan to meet with Smith and have not ruled out his return to the team this season. Coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke said they are encouraged by reports of Smith's progress.
Smith could receive a reduced game suspension, a fine or the league may take no action, depending on Smith's progress and the time spent away from the team.
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Former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana said the city's leaders did not do enough to keep the team there.
The 49ers are in their final season at Candlestick Park in San Francisco before moving to nearby Santa Clara next season. The team will still be named the San Francisco 49ers.
Montana, who won four Super Bowls for the 49ers, said at a forum for European NFL fans in London on Saturday that San Francisco's leaders "made a terrible effort" to keep the team in the city.
He said the city wasted an opportunity to build a new stadium downtown for the 49ers. The San Francisco Giants built AT&T Park in 2000 and the Golden State Warriors plans to move from Oakland and into a new downtown San Francisco arena.
Despite that, Montana said he is thrilled that the 49ers have a new stadium in Santa Clara.
"It's not like they went to Oakland," he said.
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Harvin, who has been on the physically unable to perform list all season with a torn labrum in his hip, returned to practice this week. He is still considered day-to-day.
Carroll said Harvin did fine in practice this week, but has maintained that the team will not rush him back.
"He looked great when we were working him, and then we needed to rest him and make sure that he could handle the workload," Carroll said. "He's a hard charger, he's not going to sit back, and when he goes, he goes. We have to make sure that we manage that really well. We're totally pleased with how he's worked to get back, and as soon as we could do it we will, but when it's right." (Editing by Gene Cherry)
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- San Francisco 49ers
- San Francisco
- Aldon Smith