By Mark Maske
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 13, 2010; D6
CHICAGO - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday that he was not prepared to provide a timetable for making a decision about whether to discipline Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre under the league's personal conduct policy.
Goodell said he had no immediate plans to meet with Favre but did not rule out a meeting at some point. He said the league will deal with the matter in a "responsible" fashion.
"Before we jump to any conclusions here, let's make sure we understand all the facts here," Goodell said at the end of a one-day owners' meeting at a downtown Chicago hotel. "But I've often said one of the reasons we implemented a personal conduct policy is to make sure everyone associated with the NFL - commissioner, players, coaches, executives - understands their responsibility to conduct themselves in a responsible fashion. We all must understand that."
Favre was accused in an online report of sending inappropriate pictures and text and voice mail messages to a former New York Jets employee when Favre played for the team.
Favre has refused to directly address the allegations made in the report by the Web site Deadspin. The former Jets sideline reporter, Jenn Sterger, now works for the television network Versus.
Goodell said he would decide the next step after returning to New York in a few days.
"Our staff has been working aggressively on this, gathering all the data," Goodell said. "I'll get some reports on that and then make some determinations. I'd be hesitant to say anything about the timing until I have a chance to understand that and make sure we can get all the information. As you know, we're seeking to get cooperation to make sure we understand all those facts."
Sterger's manager, Phil Reese, wrote in an e-mail to the Associated Press: "This is something that allegedly happened two years ago. We don't want a quick resolution, but the proper resolution."
The NFL's personal conduct policy empowers Goodell to punish a player for conduct deemed detrimental to the league even if the player has not been convicted of a crime.
Goodell suspended Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger from the first four games of this season for violating the policy. The suspension came after a prosecutor in Georgia announced that Roethlisberger would not be charged with a crime based on an allegation by a woman that she was sexually assaulted by Roethlisberger at a nightclub. Roethlisberger denied the allegation.
In the case involving Favre, there has been no known criminal investigation, civil lawsuit or workplace complaint.
"I don't know if it complicates the issue," Goodell said. "I just think there are some of the facts that we want to make sure we understand fully - what's happened, what's transpired - and make sure we're dealing with it in a responsible fashion."
Also at the owners' meeting Tuesday, NFL officials described to the owners what staffing reductions and pay cuts by senior executives potentially would be implemented during a lockout, according to a source. Teams that have modeled out how they would operate during a lockout made presentations, a source said.
Union officials and players have said they expect the players to be locked out by the owners in 2011. But New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he would like to complete a new labor deal with the union before the end of the season. Asked whether that is realistic, Kraft said, "To me it is."
Owners said there was no discussion Tuesday about a potential 18-game regular season. The league has proposed an 18-game season as part of the labor negotiations.