NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith haven't been on what you'd call 'the best of terms' these last few months. Tensions between the two factions have been high during this NFL Lockout and both sides have attempted to manipulate the media and public perception to their advantage as much as possible.
The fact that DeMaurice Smith invited Roger Goodell to break away from their four-day meetings in Minnesota to attend the NFL Rookie Symposium today, a decidedly PLAYER organized and oriented ... orientation, has been taken by most people in the media to mean that a deal could be very close to done. Because of this, it has been speculated, the two sides are now trying to publicly display a reconciliatory and collaborative stance.
Per the AP, NFLPA Spokesman George Atalla saw it as a positive sign. He said, "That's really the significance of this. There's a lockout happening now, but we've got to look forward and consider the necessity to have a positive working relationship with the league."
He continued, "It was important that the players see this is not personal. It was important that the players see that (Goodell and Smith) can work through their differences in a constructive way, and that hopefully sooner rather than later they'll be playing football."
Goodell and Smith, now best of friends, skipped off to their tinted-window SUV and were whisked away back to Minnesota after their day in the sun. Goodell said as they were leaving, "We were taking a break (from negotiations) because we felt it was important to be down here with the players. This is an important few days. We're going to get back to work."
Yes, please do.