August 05, 2010
Per our buddy Jason Reid over at Redskins Insider, some Washington players were less than impressed with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's recent visit to their facilities. The Commish is currently on a "goodwill tour" that is taking him to multiple training camps. But when he met with Redskins players on Wednesday, some were left with less than what they wanted ... or were told to expect.
The players wanted to know Goodell's thoughts on the labor situation, the possibility of a lockout in 2011, and what's being done about a new collective bargaining agreement. What they got, apparently, was a bunch of noise.
"He's walking around kissing babies, you know, shaking hands, and he just wants to say that the owners are over here, the players are over here and I'm in the middle, I'm for the game," cornerback DeAngelo Hall(notes) said. "But to ask him a question about anything, he couldn't answer.
"He couldn't answer this, go check with this, go ask these people, I don't really know. It was a waste of time. We sat there and shot questions at him for 45 minutes, and pushed meetings back and had to be here longer for nothing."
While it might be wise to take what Hall says with a grain of salt — the guy is known to have an opinion on just about everything, and not all of those opinions are what you would call realistic — veteran linebacker London Fletcher(notes) is another matter. Fletcher is one of the most respected players in the NFL (not to mention the team's player representative), and his take on the meeting was exactly the same.
"We just wanted more answers to the questions that we had and he really didn't have 'em. [...] Obviously, some of 'em he didn't even feel like he could answer 'em as part of the negotiations, so to speak. Guys want to hear straight from him as far as what's true and what's not true. [...]
"And he opened up the ability for us to ask him questions. If you open up that ability then you have to be prepared to answer our questions. [...] When he did that, and guys had some real questions that we wanted hard answers to, not the typical questions, he didn't really answer. He didn't give us sound answers on a lot of the issues.
The players are already unhappy about the 18-game season Goodell has proposed, and many of them aren't convinced that the league is on the level about how the increased revenue from an enhanced season will be distributed. That certain players are so willing to open up more public talk about their frustrations indicates that as the labor tension increases, you'll be hearing a lot about it from those most directly affected. And the talk will be very, very direct.
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