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Goodell will speak at NFLPA* rookie symposium

Goodell_Smith AP

In the clearest sign yet that the hatchet has been buried between the NFL and the union-turned-trade-association, Commissioner Roger Goodell has agreed to speak that the NFLPA*-sponsored The Business of Football:  Rookie Edition.

The report comes from Peter King of SI.com, who is on vacation and, last we knew, en route to Europe.  (Hopefully, he won’t be prepping for his next colonoscopy on the flight home.)

NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith asked Goodell to speak to the assembled rookies, and Goodell agreed.  Goodell will meet with the rookies Wednesday at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Florida.

Goodell and Smith left the labor negotiations on Tuesday to fly to Florida, and they’ll fly back to Minnesota on Wednesday after Goodell speaks to the rookies.  Their airplane time together could go a long way toward ironing out any lingering labor issues.  The fact that Smith felt sufficiently comfortable in the relationship to ask and that Goodell felt sufficiently comfortable in the relationship to accept bodes well not only for getting a deal done, but also for achieving long-term labor peace, a prospect that seemed unthinkable in the middle of May.

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25 Responses to “Goodell will speak at NFLPA* rookie symposium”
  1. saints25 says: Jun 28, 2011 7:32 PM

    @realfreemancbsmike freeman

    SI says Goodell to speak at NFLPA rookie symposium. Do you really think D-Smith would ask Roger to speak if deal wasn’t close?

  2. maximus50 says: Jun 28, 2011 7:32 PM

    They can sing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” together during their flight.

  3. 7370355q says: Jun 28, 2011 7:32 PM

    Does anybody realistically think that Smith would’ve asked Goodell to speak at the symposium if they were not extremely close to a deal? The answer is no if anyone is wondering.

  4. trbowman says: Jun 28, 2011 7:33 PM

    How’d the talks go today?

  5. hobartbaker says: Jun 28, 2011 7:35 PM

    Roger has to deprogram the rookies. After two days brainwashing from NFLPA and IMG they all be stumbling through the Everglades craving human flesh.

  6. footballfanatic3431 says: Jun 28, 2011 7:42 PM

    While this is all nice, warm and fuzzy, I wish they would spend Tuesday back in the negotiating room instead of talking to the rookies.

  7. 7370355q says: Jun 28, 2011 8:03 PM

    From Mark Maske of Washington Post: Smith offering to have Goodell speak to the rookies, and Goodell accepting, is obviously a possible sign that labor peace could be at hand.

  8. illyistic1 says: Jun 28, 2011 8:11 PM

    i am so tired of this back and fourth ish! i hope this is a good sign

  9. leftysmoke says: Jun 28, 2011 8:12 PM

    Looks like a deal is on the horizon. Finally.

    GO COLTS!

  10. greghensley says: Jun 28, 2011 8:12 PM

    Another sign of the deal is virtually finished and everyone is waiting on the lawyers to iron out the minute details and put it down on paper.

  11. bobwhitequail says: Jun 28, 2011 8:16 PM

    Rumor has it that Jeffrey Kessler has filed a court injunction that requires him to sit between Smith and Goodell on the plane…

    Seriously, a very good sign. This whole thing turned around after the lawyers were taken out of the process. The players side turned from litigation to negotiation. I think some of the smarter players got wise that Kessler was taking them for a ride and didn’t have their interest at heart. Either that or the reality of the looming 8th circuit decision convinced them Kessler’s maniacal wish to destroy the NFL wasn’t going to work. The reasons don’t matter. They are on the right course now. Good job!

  12. derekjetersmansion says: Jun 28, 2011 8:19 PM

    Or the NFL isn’t doing a symposium anymore?

    /devil’s advocate’d

  13. derekjetersmansion says: Jun 28, 2011 8:21 PM

    Are we sure they’re talking about the new season or just reinforcing the don’t-spend-your-money-this-year idea?

    /devil’s advocate’d

  14. drgfri says: Jun 28, 2011 8:26 PM

    And Marc Sanchez will speak at Girls HS Graduation Symposium

  15. heisthejuan says: Jun 28, 2011 8:32 PM

    I swear, if a deal falls apart now after the promising signs of the past two weeks, I’ll be thoroughly rip-sh*t.

  16. hobartbaker says: Jun 28, 2011 8:49 PM

    IMG has this weird cult farm thing going on down there. Not healthy at all. A Jonestown complex turning out artificially constructed holograms like The Giant Newt.

    OOOOOoooooohhhh…..

  17. southridge23 says: Jun 28, 2011 9:39 PM

    looks like the 2 newest members of “the mile-high club” if you ask me…

  18. nuttsdagod6 says: Jun 28, 2011 10:15 PM

    im tellin u hands down u heard it here first lockout ends this weekend july 4th weekend its business all we been thru u know dey want to give it to us to celebrate this weekend. .. what the hey who dey! one day we will be a good team

  19. vikesfansteve says: Jun 28, 2011 10:34 PM

    Honestly why is there still a lockout? Just get it done with you F’n prima donna’s.

  20. vikefan says: Jun 28, 2011 10:37 PM

    what happened to management and players not being able to communicate? if goodell can do it for rookies, why cant rest of management & players?

  21. msclemons67 says: Jun 28, 2011 10:39 PM

    Goodell to the rookies: “For every one of you that gets a speeding ticket I will fine James Harrison $75,000.”

  22. valman61 says: Jun 28, 2011 11:39 PM

    It’s obvious a deal is very close. Two people going for each others throats in negotiations don’t take happy hour flights to welcome the new class of workers to the company.

    On a different note, I think Kessler is misunderstood here. I hate his antics as much as the next guy, but I’ve come to realize he’s a paid gun. No different than a body guard. De Smith says if you don’t offer fair terms, this pit bull lawyer named Kessler will drag the entire league down. He’s a very good lawyer who is being paid handsomely by the nflpa to use as leverage by threatening to unleash the monster if the NFL wont take this negotiation down the road they want. Recently, negotiations have been going well so the nflpa has put the beast in it’s cage.

  23. lovesportsandsurfing says: Jun 29, 2011 4:39 AM

    Goodell and De Smith on the same flight?…ok, must be filming “Snakes on a Plane 2″.

  24. jc1958cool says: Jun 29, 2011 7:33 AM

    the rookies can find out how roger pinnochio operates! is my nose getting longer and you guy’s get a rookie cap thank you!

  25. stanklepoot says: Jun 29, 2011 8:39 AM

    vikefan says:
    Jun 28, 2011 10:37 PM
    what happened to management and players not being able to communicate? if goodell can do it for rookies, why cant rest of management & players?
    _______________________________
    Actually, it was the owners who distanced themselves and forbid the coaches from speaking with the players. they did so to avoid any appearance that they might be assigning them tasks or a training regimen during the lockout, as that could be seen as coercing employees to work without pay. With Goodell, there was never any such concern, as he does not work for any specific team and only has direct oversight of players when rules have been broken or when there has been a violation of the conduct policy.

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