"We go through the same process on any circumstance," Goodell said. "When you're going through a controlling ownership position, that's a big step up so we don't just pass that off. We do the same vetting process. Obviously he knows people in the league after being an owner, so there were certain aspects of that which were easier. But we didn't short-circuit anything."
Goodell is satisfied the investigation has not been a distraction to the Browns, who are undergoing another makeover with a new front office and coaching staff, However, Goodell did concede it's troubling one of the NFL's owners is part of federal probe.
"You never want to see this kind of thing happen, particularly to a partner in the league," Goodell said. "Obviously his partners care a great deal about him and as a partner they want to see him getting off to a good start. This is not what anybody intended, not anybody anticipated. But he's a man that I think everyone truly respects in the NFL."
Goodell said the Browns are in good hands with Haslam, whom he believes can restore the Browns to their former glory.
"Jimmy Haslam came into this with a mindset that he was going to do everything possible to get this franchise turned around in a positive direction and a team that this community will be proud of not just in any single year but consistently and to create a winner," Goodell said. "And he's brought in great talent. He's brought in great people. He set the organization obviously in a different direction. I think that's all positive and good for the fans here and ultimately good for the NFL."
NOTES: Browns coach Rob Chudzinski opened his post-practice news conference by commenting on the Indians' eight-game winning streak. "Love it," he said. ... Browns WR Josh Gordon did some team drills after missing two days with tendinitis in his knee. ... Safety T.J. Ward sat out practice with a tight hamstring. ... WR David Nelson tweaked his knee while running a pass route and was kept out. He tore his ACL last season and had knee surgery in Buffalo. ... Browns DT Brian Sanford and rookie G Garrett Gilkey got into a fight during a one-on-one drill. ... Chudzinski said OLB Quentin Groves is "having a great camp." Groves signed with Cleveland as a free agent this winter from Arizona.