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5 Takeways from Roger Goodell's Super Bowl 50 Press Conference

SAN FRANCISCO -- Roger Goodell held his annual "State of the NFL" press conference on Friday, two days before Super Bowl 50 kicks off at Levi's® Stadium.

Journalists from around the globe gathered to prod the NFL commissioner on wide-ranging topics from relocation to international games to rule changes.

As is the case every year, several headlines emerged during the question-and-answer session. If you missed it live, we're here to break down the most important updates from Goodell.

  1. Return to Mexico

The last time the NFL played a regular season game in Mexico, the San Francisco 49ers battled the Arizona Cardinals in front of a record 103,467 fans at Estadio Azteca. That was in 2005.

Now, more than a decade later, the NFL is returning to Mexico City in 2016, as the Oakland Raiders will take on the Houston Texans on Nov. 21 on "Monday Night Football."

"Expanding our International Series of regular season games to Mexico marks an important step in our continued international growth," Goodell said. "We have a tremendous, passionate fan base in Mexico, and we know the atmosphere on game day will be outstanding."

According to the NFL, the decision to return to Mexico was based on general fan interest, current NFL visibility through existing media agreements, the size and value of the overall sports and entertainment market there and the potential to build year-round marketing, sponsorship and fan engagement.

  1. Automatic Ejections

Similar to rules in soccer and basketball, Goodell has recommended a proposal to the competition committee that would call for automatic ejections for players who are flagged for two personal fouls in a game.

"I believe that's consistent with what we believe are the safety issues," Goodell said. "But I also believe it's consistent with what we believe are the standards of sportsmanship that we've emphasized.

"We should take that out of the hands of the officials when it gets to that point. They obviously will have to throw the flag. But when they do, we will look to see if we can reach an agreement on the conditions on which they be ejected."

Before any changes are seriously considered, Goodell said more discussions will have to take place with the Players' Association and the league's owners.

  1. Future Relocations Still Possible

The NFL made waves last month when it announced that the Rams would move back to Los Angeles beginning in 2016.

Next, the NFL will try to find permanent solutions for both the Raiders and San Diego Chargers.

"The league supports both of these teams, but we are working very hard with not only the teams but the communities to try to find a solution that works for everybody," Goodell said. "This has to work for the communities, and it has to work for the teams long-term."

The Chargers have a yearlong option to join the Rams in Los Angeles. After that, the Raiders would be next in line. Staying put in the respective cities is the priority right now, however.

Goodell also touched on the idea of moving a team to play in London, England full-time.

"Every year I go back to London, I see the fans are more sophisticated.  They understand the game more.  They're following it more," Goodell said. "As far as a franchise, let's continue to grow. Let's continue to see that excitement and enthusiasm, passion and support continue to develop. 

"If it does, I think that's a realistic possibility."

  1. Changes to the Pro Bowl Could be Coming

Starting with the 2014 Pro Bowl, the NFL got rid of the old NFC vs. AFC matchup and instead instituted a fantasy draft of mashed up rosters.

Although the update led to initial success last year, Goodell expressed concern over how this year's game was played.

"I was disappointed with what I saw on Sunday," Goodell said. "I raised this issue three or four years ago. We worked with a number of players to make changes to the game. It had a positive impact at least in the short term, but I didn't see that this past week. I think I want to talk to more players, coaches and personnel about it."

Goodell later made clear that he has no intention of eliminating the Pro Bowl.

"I think it's very important to have a stage to celebrate our great players and what they can do on and off the field," he said. "I may have to think about this differently than in the past. If it's not a quality, real competition we can be proud of, we have to do something different. I'm open to new ideas and how we do it."

  1. Thanks to the 49ers

Hosting Super Bowl 50 has been a tireless, multi-year effort by the 49ers and their partners. During his press conference on Friday, Goodell made sure to recognize the people who made this massive, weeklong event happen.

"I want to recognize and thank everyone in San Francisco. This community has been wonderful," Goodell said. "To Santa Clara, to the Bay Area Host Committee, to the York family, to Mark Davis, you all have done a terrific job this week.  We are thrilled to be in your beautiful community and glad to celebrate Super Bowl 50 right here. 

"As you know we have been honoring the history of the Super Bowl this past season.  We all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us that made pro football and the Super Bowl so compelling."

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