Council will advise Goodell on player issues

NEW YORK -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has established a six-member council of veteran players to advise him on a variety of
issues, including player conduct.

Most of the players named to the council, which includes players
union president Troy Vincent, met this week with Goodell on the
same day the commissioner heard from Adam "Pacman" Jones of
Tennessee and Chris Henry of Cincinnati to discuss their off-field
problems. He is expected to announce disciplinary action next week.

It will meet regularly with Goodell and Gene Upshaw, the
executive director of the NFL Players Association to talk about a
variety of issues, including player safety, health issues and

"It is important that we know the perspective of players on
issues that impact our game and our league," Goodell said in a
statement issued by the league.

"We all share the same goal of improving the NFL in every way
we can. Veteran leadership is critically important for our teams in
many areas. These outstanding veterans can help the entire league
just as they help their teams."

The group includes Vincent, currently a free agent, along with
safety Donovin Darius of Jacksonville; fullback Tony Richardson of
Minnesota; center Jeff Saturday of Indianapolis; linebacker Takeo Spikes of Philadelphia and wide receiver James Thrash of Washington.

The establishment of the council is consistent with the way
Goodell has worked since taking over from Paul Tagliabue last
September. He spent the early part of his tenure visiting teams and
talking with owners, officials and players to get a feel for the

"This is the first time in NFL history that a commissioner has
used a group of current players in an advisory capacity," Upshaw
said. "The players are a great resource for our game and this is a
direct way of getting their input. This is a good example of how
the new commissioner is leading through strong communication. We
appreciate what he is doing."