Goodell applauded the players for taking an active role in trying to eliminate use of illegal substances. Goodell also said not allowing players who are suspended under the drug policy to win postseason awards is "a huge priority for us."
San Diego linebacker Shawn Merriman made the All-Pro team, will play in the Pro Bowl and was considered a front-runner for defensive player of the year despite sitting out four games for violating the substance policy. Several players, including Miami end Jason Taylor, who was voted the top defensive player, criticized Merriman receiving such honors.
"Our players are the ones who stood up and said they don't want this in our game and that somebody who violates this doesn't deserve a Pro Bowl spot," Goodell said.