Yesterday, after spending some time with SB Nation, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made headlines when word leaked that he'd sent a letter to every NFL player urging the NFLPA to return to the negotiating table to end the lockout. Player reaction to the letter was typically vitriolic. In an exclusive interview with SB Nation this morning, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith reacted to Goodell's letter, as well.
"In that short letter, Roger said more words than he said throughout the entire mediation process," Smith remarked. "For a guy who spent more time writing a letter to the players than he spent engaging in good-faith negotiations during 15 days, does that sound like a true intent on behalf of the National Football League to reach a deal during the final 15 days of mediation?
"Everyone likes to focus on what happened during the last 15 days," Smith continued. "Let me tell you what happened during 15 days of mediation: we had decision-makers in the room virtually every day. We had men from the executive committee, former players that sit on the executive committee, team reps in the room for 15 straight days. For most of that time, the NFL never had a decision-maker in the room. On the last day of mediation, the NFL proposed a deal that, quote, would be the worst deal in the history of sports."
Smith, who was joined by former Buffalo Bills linebacker Takeo Spikes for the interview, sounded off on a laundry list of many of the issues that have been discussed over the past several weeks. Much more to come over at SBNation.com.