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Goodell, Smith comment together after negotiations

NFL Labor Football

FILE - At left, in a Feb. 7, 2010, file photo, NFL Commissiner Roger Goodell is shown at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. At right, in a Jan. 4, 2010, file photo, DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFL Players Association, speaks during a House Judiciary Committee hearing entitled “Legal Issues Relating to Football Head Injuries, Part II” in Detroit. Goodell and Smith began their latest negotiating session for a new collective bargaining agreement Thursday, Feb. 25. 25, 2010, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/File)


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA* Executive Director DeMaurice Smith didn’t say much when they appeared together after today’s negotiating session in Boston. But the fact that they stood together has to be considered a positive sign.

Standing next to each other and addressing the assembled media, Goodell and Smith both vowed to work hard toward getting a deal done to end the lockout.

“Obviously we’re all working hard,” Goodell said. “The players and owners were here over the last two days. De and I were here for the entire meetings also. And it’s complicated and it’s complex, but we’re working hard and we understand the fans’ frustration. But I think both of us feel strongly that we’re going to continue to work hard at it.”

Although Smith isn’t saying a deal is close, he is saying that having everyone together talking is a reason to feel good.

“Look, someone asked me whether I was optimistic,” Smith said. “I think we’re both optimistic when we have the right people in the room. We know we’re talking about the right issues and that we’re working hard to get it done.”

The right people in the room included Smith and Goodell, as well as players Domonique Foxworth, Tony Richardson and Jeff Saturday and owners Jerry Richardson, Clark Hunt, Robert Kraft, John Mara and Dean Spanos.