Commissioner Goodell & DeMaurice Smith to rookies: “We have to work together”

Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith stressed the importance of working together as they appeared together Wednesday morning at the NFLPA’s rookie orientation in Sarasota, according to a story by    Smith invited the Commissioner to speak at the event.

“Every now and then you have two sides, the folks who are employees and the folks who are employers. There are issues that unite you and there are issues that divide you. At the end of the day the conclusion is that both sides have to work together,” Smith said.

“De referenced how hard we are all working together. There’s no question that you have a guy that is passionate about what you do and in representing you. I have great respect for this guy and you,” Commissioner Goodell said. “There’s no question we have some fundamental challenges to getting this done. But we do recognize that if we are going to create a business model that meets the challenges for everybody, works for the players, works for the clubs, works for the fans of the game, then we are going to have to address these issues responsibly and we know we are better off working together.”

Both Commissioner Goodell and DeMaurice Smith both stated that they are focused on preserving a full season.

“Our goal is to start the games on time,” Smith said. “Our goal is to have a training camp on time. Our goal is to hopefully get some time were we can have some off-season work. We are both committed to those three fundamental things so if we are able to get something done in time we have the ability to move heaven and earth and make sure that things happen in a way that doesn’t impact the season.”

Said Commissioner Goodell: “Our objective here is to keep pressing on and get this done so we can have a season, a full season, and that includes some off season work. If we are successful in the next couple weeks there is still the opportunity to get some off season work and then into training camps.”

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