Goodell says union profit claims are 'fiction'

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is confident of reaching a new labor agreement with the players before the 2010 season. But he took a shot at a union report that the league remains highly profitable and there's no need to change the current system.

"There's a lot of fiction in that report," Goodell said at his annual state of the NFL news conference Friday. "It's not accurate."

On Thursday, a union-commissioned study showed the average value of franchises has grown from $288 million to $1.04 billion over the past decade, and that teams averaged a $24.7 million profit in the last year, even as the economy took a turn for the worse.

Goodell disputed those figures and defended the owners' decision to opt out of the current agreement.

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