NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wasn’t in St. Louis for Friday’s Eighth Circuit hearing regarding the validity of the lockout. But he was tuned in to the developments and expressed optimism Friday evening that the players and owners are making positive progress.
“The importance is to have the principles talk,” said Goodell, who spent the day at a North Carolina U.S. Army base with Panthers coach Ron Rivera. “That’s what we’re interested in doing, have the owners and players talk to one another. That was accomplished this week. . . . That’s a positive sign for us.”
Though Friday’s events took place in the courtroom, Goodell was referring to this week’s lawyer-less “secret talks” in Chicago. The same deliberations in which the owners reportedly made concessions to the players.
Goodell wouldn’t say when or if a new round of negotiations will occur. But he confirmed that both sides have shown willingness to work out a deal.
“I would just tell you that both sides are committed to continuing the dialogue,” Goodell added. “In negotiations, you’re making different suggestions, recommendations, and proposals from time to time.
“I think both sides will do that in a reasonable fashion.”