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Roger Goodell and DeMaurice both stood at the podium earlier today to discuss the agreement on a new NFL CBA.
It took a lot of time and effort on both sides -- and a lot of give and take too -- but for the next ten years, that won't be an issue. And perhaps now, the two have a better relationship than they ever have.
"I can tell you that even up to the last minute -- and we'll leave that to the book one day -- even up to the last minute it required both of us coming together to take a stock of what's important and get the job done," Smith said. "So I know that that's going to be our relationship going forward."
"I guess I have to say relationships are built on respect, and "D'" Smith and I have that for one another," Goodell said."
Sure, the CBA has been ratified and "football is back" according to Smith, but there will always be issues that arise and need to be taken care of. The two believe they'll be able to get on the same page when those issues do arise.
"I think as we go forward we've got serious and critical issues to address," Smith said. "I think part of the good news, while we were just a few blocks up the street in March for a couple of hours, we managed to talk about a lot of the things that I think make football better and safer. So I think we have a little bit of a head start on those issues and I think that the faster that we can resolve them the better it is for the game of football and the men who play it.
Before negotiations began, the owners and players didn't seem to be close on many pressing issues. But the deal has been described as "fair" by both sides, as both sides had to shave off certain demands here and there to come to an agreement.
There were no losers at the end, except maybe the fans -- who had to constantly put up with what seemed to be more bad news on a daily basis.
"From the commissioner perspective, we know what we did to frustrate our fans over the last several months," Goodell said. "They want football, and our job is to give them football. We think through a 10-year agreement here we secured the future of the game to ensure that pledge to bring great football to our fans. i think we have some work to do though to make sure that they understand that we are sorry for the frustration we put them through over the last six months. But our commitment is to bring them better football going forward."