NEW YORK (NEW YORK/AP) — Besides the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers, also missing this Pro Bowl week is NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The NFL said the commissioner is staying in New York so he can concentrate on collective bargaining issues, which could result in a work stoppage if a new contract isn’t negotiated. This is the first Pro Bowl Goodell has missed since taking over in 2006.
“He is meeting with the NFL staff and talking with owners and others. He is fully focused on the (collective bargaining agreement),” the NFL said in an e-mail.
NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, who is in Hawaii, declined comment Thursday. He had predicted the owners will lock out the players after the March 4 expiration of the current contract with the league.
Goodell this week said he will cut his salary to $1 if there is a work stoppage after the collective bargaining agreement expires in March.
Goodell, who makes about $10 million a year including bonuses, said in a memo to his staff Wednesday that chief negotiator Jeff Pash will do the same. Pash makes nearly $5 million a year.
NFL owners opted out of the agreement in 2008.
LATE ADDITIONS: Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, Dallas Cowboys receiver Miles Austin and Minnesota Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson were added to the Pro Bowl roster on Thursday.
Bailey, who replaces Oakland’s Nnamdi Asomugha, is making his 10th appearance in the all-star game, a record for cornerbacks. He had 45 tackles, one sack and two interceptions in 15 games this season.
Austin is making his second Pro Bowl appearance after finishing second on the team with 69 receptions for a team-high 1,041 yards with seven touchdown receptions. Austin replaces injured Philadelphia Eagles’ DeSean Jackson.
Henderson is playing in his first Pro Bowl. He finished second on the team with 139 tackles, including seven for losses and one sack. He tied for the team lead with three interceptions, tying the most by any linebacker in the NFL this season.
FAKE NFL JERSEYS: Federal agents have seized counterfeit NFL apparel at two popular Honolulu swap meets this week, including one held at the location of the Pro Bowl.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Thursday said 135 jerseys were confiscated Wednesday at the Aloha Stadium swap meet and at the International Market Place in Waikiki. No arrests were made.
Agents estimated the seized apparel would have retailed for approximately $41,000 if it were authentic.
“People need to realize that the sale and purchase of counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime,” said Marjorie Thompson, acting special agent in charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in Honolulu. “Commercial piracy and product counterfeiting undermine the U.S. economy, rob Americans of jobs, stifle American innovation and promote other types of crime.”
NFL COMMUNITY SERVICE: After practice, dozens of Pro Bowl players and more than 200 volunteers spent the afternoon helping Oahu youth and neighborhoods in what the NFL called its largest day of community service.
The NFL Play 60 Community Blitz, which encourages kids to be healthy and active for at least 60 minutes a day, was made up of five simultaneous service projects with three events on military bases around Oahu.
The players helped build a playground, held a punt, pass and kick competition with Special Olympians and put on football, cheerleading and fitness clinics at Schofield Barracks, Marine Corps Base Hawaii and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
The project was launched in partnership with NFL players and league sponsor Proctor & Gamble.
FALCONS IN HAWAII: The Atlanta Falcons are well represented at the Pro Bowl with nine players and their entire coaching staff.
“It’s a little bittersweet. We all definitely wanted to be in the other big game,” fullback Ovie Mughelli said. “We’ve been joking about it all week about how the Falcons got nine Pro Bowlers and we can’t get to the (Super Bowl). That’s just crazy.”
The top-seeded Atlanta Falcons lost in the playoffs to the Super Bowl-bound Green Bay Packers 48-21.
“We made a couple mistakes, but the talent is definitely there,” Mughelli said. “Hopefully, we can keep as much of us guys as possible to make a run again next year.”
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.