CBS Sports writer Mike Freeman initially leaked the report, Yahoo Sports is calling it a “risky” move, but regardless of what you or I will dub the letter that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent to every player in the league, one thing is certain—it’s an attempt!
An attempt at what though?
What exactly were Commissioner Goodell’s intentions in sending the letter is what will be put under the microscope up until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached? Was the Commish trying to pull a devious stunt by trying to somehow confuse the players or was this letter indeed an act of good faith, or even a hint of desperation before this thing gets real serious in court?
Again, Yahoo Sports is calling this a risky move on the Commissioner’s part and there is definitely a lot of truth in that. First, Mr. Goodell only sent this letter to the players of the NFL—every last one of them—but not a single member of the NFLPA received this letter. More questions arise, such as why?
Why was the time taken to distribute this document to so many people but not the individuals who would be truly interested in hearing more about the thoughts of last Friday’s events? This is precisely why this move is being viewed as “risky” because not only was this done in what could be viewed being sneaky, but it could also sever any trust either side had in the other.
However when I read the letter Goodell sent to the players, it didn’t seem as though there was anything sneaky or manipulative about it.
Instead it came across as being rather passionate about the two sides to finally come together for the future well-being of the league; he came across as a concerned man.
There is one thing that struck me as kind of odd though, normally when you’re trying to pitch an idea to a large group of people or audience, one usually provides not only their vision but also comes prepared with sound reasoning as to why his or her proposed plan would work.
Commissioner Goodell completed only one of those steps in his letter and that is why I feel as though the players are going to be hesitant to respond to this any differently than they have any other attempt.
Had Goodell taken the time to provide some insight behind the owners' proposed plan in this letter, then I feel this could have actually been a very big bright spot in a league full of baron fields!
We could also say that the NFLPA might have responded favorably upon receiving such a letter. Unfortunately we will never know how that scenario could have played out.
The only thing we have to hope for now is that the players don’t feel even more disrespected—and unheard—than when Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones thought he was going to run the show during these meetings, which was reported to ultimately lead to the players abandoning last Friday’s meeting. Here’s a thought, next time the two sides meet they should do themselves a favor and leave the Cowboy at home!
The players have received and read (I’m sure) the letter, now we are forced to sit tight and wait for them to react to it! What will this attempt be viewed as is still up in the air but I’m sure we won’t be waiting long to find out how this is going to affect further discussions.
Click HERE to view Commissioner Goodell’s letter that was sent to each player in the National Football League (a new window will open).
Dan is the founder of a Philadelphia Eagles based website BleedingEagleGreen.com