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At Redskins Park, Goodell Addresses Labor Issues

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell paid a visit to Redskins Park on Tuesday morning. As the team began practice, Goodell chatted on the sidelines with owner Dan Snyder, executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato, Coach Jim Zorn and former quarterback Joe Theismann. Rookies Brian Orakpo and Jeremy Jarmon also stopped by.

Goodell said he spoke to Redskins players, as he does in several cities, before they took the field. He said the questions and concerns he hears often revolve around the collective bargaining agreement. Both owners and the NFL Players Association have warned that a lockout in two years is possible if a new agreement isn't reached soon.

"I think everybody in the NFL wants to play," Goodell told reporters this morning. "The owners want to play, the players want to play. It's our job to get a deal. It's why I keep saying a lockout is not a strategy or an objective. What we want to do is get an agreement that works for the players, the coaches and the game, allows us to continue to grow it. There's not a lot of rhetoric that's needed. We need to sit down at the table and try to get those issues resolved."

Union leaders have said that the owners seem determined to lockout players in 2011. The owners opted out of the collective bargaining agreement last spring, unhappy with the revenue split. If the two sides can't reach a new agreement by March, the 2010 season would be played without a salary cap.

While in D.C., Goodell said he would meet with DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association and would not characterize how negotiations currently stand.

"Any time you're in negotiations, you take a step forward and maybe a step back," Goodell said. "We're communicating, we're trying to get information to the union leadership, make sure they understand the challenges we're facing as a system and as a business. And make they sure they understand that so we can design a system that addresses the issues for the players, the coaches and the game."

"When we get an outcome, I don't know. What we're looking for is the right outcome."

A few other topics that Goodell addressed with media...

On Michael Vick's return thus far:
"The issue for Michael is to be able to deal with all of the issues in that transition back to the NFL. A lot of those issues that I'm focusing on are off the field. How is he doing with the transition? Does he have his family relocated? Does he have the right people around him, helping him make decisions? Tony Dungy has been incredibly helpful, Donovan McNabb has been helpful. I talk to Michael on a weekly basis, if not more. I'll be meeting with him sometime in the near future. I think he's making the right kind of progress. He's focused on the right kind of things."

On a few bad apples spoiling the bunch: "When we developed a personal conduct policy, we did it with player input. I met with well over 150 players, worked with Gene Upshaw [the NFLPA executive director who died in August 2008] to create the policy, and it was something players really wanted, for exactly the point you're making: we're good people; a few people are giving us a bad reputation. And I don't think that's right.

"I'm proud of what our players do, both on and off the field. I think we have a bunch of great guys. It's one of the things I hear consistently from coaches and when I spend time in the locker room: these are great young men."

On TV blackouts in Jacksonville and economic challenges:
"We've always said we're not immune from the economy. I think it reflects two things, what you're seeing in Jacksonville. One is the quality of preseason games. I think our fans are sort of seeing the quality of the games aren't up to NFL standards. So I think that's a factor. Additionally, they are of the markets where we're seeing some challenges for ticket sales coming into the 2009 season. And we'll have other markets where we'll have those challenges. It's all part of the challenges we're seeing in the economy and what our fans are going through. Our clubs have been working hard during the offseason to try to create other ways to get people into the stadium, to have policies that are a little more flexible. Hopefully, they're going to pay dividends for us."

On Twitter and the NFL:
"We embrace that. It's a great opportunity for us -- just as it is for you all -- to communicate with our fans and for our players, coaches, other people to be involved. Technology is good for us when we have great content. We believe we have great content, so this is a good thing for the NFL."

On the wedge rule change for special teams:
"We want to see how it evolves. I talked to the coaches here today, talked to the Jets' coaches on Friday about it. It's something we've got to officiate properly. It's something we believe is a play that can lead to some injuries - and to some to tragic injuries as we saw with Kevin Everett - so we're concerned about the play and the safety of it. Now how do we officiate it and does the rule address the issue? I think we'll have to see that as time evolves and as the season evolves."

On swine flu:
"We've talked about it all offseason. We have medical committees that are working on it. We've sent out guidance to our clubs last month on this - two months ago now, in July. It's an important issue for us, both on the team level and also at our stadiums. We want to make sure that we're responsible, that we know what needs to get done to be responsible in this area. I think we've done that."

On an 18-game schedule:
"It is one of the possibilities. We're still looking and evaluating it, but yes, it's one of the possibilities."

By Rick Maese  |  September 1, 2009; 12:07 PM ET
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Next: One Man's 53-Player Roster


FIRST to welcome Goodell to Washington. Well, not really...

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 1, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh, goody.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | September 1, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

looks like the blog has calmed down from annoying situation that was going on

Posted by: noonefromtampa | September 1, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

4th ---
I like the roster you posted from the Times except i'd Replace Renaldo Wynn (absolutely redundant player --- Philip Daniels, Jeremy Jarmon, Lorenzo Alexander...) with Robert Henson (for special teams help)

but I hope he's right about keeping Anthony Alridge!

Posted by: Sheriff_Gonna_Getcha | September 1, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

yeah,noone - it takes a while but these things are finally resolved...

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | September 1, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I think the owners and players would be insane not to reach an agreement. It tooks two seasons to recover from the last one. Hockey and baseball have never been the same.

The players are a time limited commodity, unfortunately that is the way it is. I do not want to go back to the exploitive 70's era. There has to be some middle ground they can work from.

Posted by: noonefromtampa | September 1, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

18 games, and only two warm-ups. YES!!!!

Posted by: glawrence007 | September 1, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Ryan O'Halloran's 53-man projection looks pretty good to me...

On offense -- I had OT Clark making the final roster until he was cut this weekend. I like Alridge a lot and still think Rock could be cut due to the emergence of Thomas on special teams. Perhaps E. Williams has shown enough to make the team vs. the practice squad or the Skins plan on bringing in a recently cut OL. Hard to see them starting the year with only 9 OL given the age/injury history of the linemen.

On defense -- I would keep Jackson over Wynn and wonder how Westbrook has performed vs. Tryon...

Special Teams -- I'd go with Suisham to start the season, however I'd put him on a very short leash. Replace him with a free agent if he cannot consistently hit 40+ yd field goals in real games.

Posted by: siris | September 1, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

A few comments for the commissioner:

(1) Allow the players [and fans] to celebrate touchdowns!!!

(2) Institute a rookie pay scale.

Posted by: siris | September 1, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Some changes I would like to see

Some sort of in season diabled list for players who are but not out for season. Maybe have to miss 4 games

Be able to designate players to Practice Squad instead of cutting and resigning. If another team wants that player, they can sign then and they have to be on that team's roster for at least 4 games.

Be able to demote eligible players down to the practice squad without cutting them.

Expand size of Practice Squad by 2-4 players.

A true rookie pay scale. But in some big bonuses if they actually perform at an All-Pro level

Posted by: noonefromtampa | September 1, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Watching the dvr of last weeks game, I was impressed how Freddy Davis stoned Seymour on mason's goal line td. Hopefully a good sign for the future.

Posted by: AdamCr | September 1, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

yeah,noone - it takes a while but these things are finally resolved...

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | September 1, 2009 12:31 PM

Yep - school starts.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | September 1, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

LMAO. I made fewer posts on this blog than many posters make in 5 minutes, I made them months ago and I get a shout out as a "stand out" blogger. Quite an accomplishment from someone rated as having the "least to offer".

Posted by: BiggerVance | August 31, 2009 3:59 PM |


Thanx for the innane report.

Posted by: glawrence007 | August 31, 2009 4:18 PM |

That's what I like about RI. So much love and good feelings to go around. On other blogs it's like a shark tank with Michael Vick pit bulls everywhere, ready to attack innocent bloggers and bite their heads off. Here, everything is lovey-dovey and peace and harmony. Reminds me a lot of summer camp and the fond memories I have of the camaraderie and fellowship I experienced there.

Posted by: BiggerVance | September 1, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I think there are more appropriate blogs for discussing your summer camp,uh, fellowship, memories. Try the li'l Cowpokes blog. Its two blogs to the left of here. Can't miss it.

Posted by: will_ga | September 1, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse


Thanx for the innane report.

Posted by: glawrence007 | August 31, 2009 4:18 PM |

Mr. Lawrence. Dude. Thanks for all the bonhomie directed my way. But if you are going to use an adjective like inane it helps alot to spell it right. Otherwise it makes you look real stupid. Big time.

Posted by: BiggerVance | September 1, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Here is the roster as I see it:

QB: Campbell, Collins, Brennan
RB: Portis, Betts, Cartright, Mason
FB: Sellers, Williams
WR: Moss, Kelly, ARE, Thomas, Mitchell
TE: Cooley, Davis, Yoder
OL: Samuels, Dockery, Rabach, Thomas, Heyer, Bridges, M. Williams Reinhart, Montgomery

DL: Carter, Haynesworth, Griffin, Daniels, Jarmon, Golston, Montgomery, Alexander,
LB: Orakpo, Fletcher, McIntosh, Wilson, Blades, Thomas, Glenn
CB: Hall, Rogers, Smoot, Barnes, Tryon
S: Landry, Horton, Doughty, Moore

K: Rayner
P: Smith
LS: Albright

Practice Squad (partial): OG/C Edwin Williams, LB Henson, RB Dorsey, S Lendy Holmes

I think DL Jackson is the bubble guy who gets cut, but if they keep him, they gotta cut Mason or Yoder or FB Williams - Williams could go to the practice squad.

Posted by: Wemiss21 | September 1, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I think there are more appropriate blogs for discussing your summer camp,uh, fellowship, memories. Try the li'l Cowpokes blog. Its two blogs to the left of here. Can't miss it.

Posted by: will_ga | September 1, 2009 1:12 PM |

Mr. Ga. Thank you also sir for your bonhomie.

Posted by: BiggerVance | September 1, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Damn- the commissioner had a lot to talk about!

What are his thoughts on:

Health Care
Who killed Biggie and Tupac?
Post Katrina New Orleans
Hormonal imblalances caused by menopause

Posted by: rickyroge | September 1, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: dcsween | September 1, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

There will be a lockout or the players will be ______!
It's already a weak game with all the new rules. It's called the NFL because you don't always play for a long time (3-5yrs.). Football is on the ropes for me maybe I've been watching too long.
Save the Quarterback save the world.

Posted by: shamken | September 1, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

18 games is too much. Plain and simple. Reasons?

1 - Descreased chance of key players getting through the season injury free
2 - Decreased importance of regular season games
3 - Single season records now irrelivant.

4 - Careers shortened

Why do this? So that the league owners can make more money. Now believe in capitalism, but just how much freakin money do these owners need?

Posted by: jack_mo_99 | September 1, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

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