Goodell, Smith come together for new CBA


Goodell, Smith come together for new CBA Staff Follow @csnnewengland
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."

Report: 3 owners unhappy with Kraft's amicus brief on behalf of Brady


Report: 3 owners unhappy with Kraft's amicus brief on behalf of Brady

Three NFL owners have expressed “extreme disappointment” in Robert Kraft and the Patriots filing an amicus brief on behalf of Tom Brady in the quarterback’s appeal of the Second Circuit Court’s reinstatement of his Deflategate suspension, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report. 

The Patriots filed the brief on Wednesday. 

The owners see the move as a publicity stunt done to appease Brady and the Patriots fans, Cole said, and they don’t believe Kraft did it any seriousness because the issue speaks to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s ability to punish players and undermines the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the players.

If Kraft thought it mattered, he wouldn't have done it, Cole said one owner told him. 

Collins, Hightower mum on contract talks


Collins, Hightower mum on contract talks

FOXBORO – A fleet of Patriots have expiring contracts after this season but Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins are the two most prominent on that list.

With the sport being the way it is – a nearly 100-percent casualty rate every season – it’s never comfortable for a player to enter a contract year without knowing his long-term future. And it’s especially uncomfortable for players whose first contracts are expiring because the second NFL contract is usually the bonanza.

Both Hightower and Collins can entertain thoughts of contracts worth more than $50M if good fortune sticks with them.

The question as it pertains to both of these players is whether they get contract extensions this summer or whether they go into the year with contract pressure bearing down and ultimately become free agents.

Neither player was very forthcoming after their OTA practice Thursday.

With Collins, that’s often the case. He’s never been expansive with media. It was very uncharacteristic for Hightower to be so clipped in his answers, though.

Every question posed to Hightower was met with a variation of, “I’m just trying to get better.”

Asked about his contract, Hightower replied, “I ain’t got nothing to do with none of that. I’m just out here trying to get better with my teammates.”

When it was pointed out that Hightower does indeed have say on his contract, he answered, “That might be. But there’s a time and place for everything and I’m just out here trying to get better.

“If I get better I feel like that’ll take care of everything else,” he added. “If I get better each and every day that’s all I can ask for.”

Asked whether he’s at all focused on his deal, Collins replied, “No, I come out here and I handle my business and I let the rest speak for itself … My first priority is me. So I’m gonna handle me."

Ravens forfeit one week of OTAs, fined by NFL


Ravens forfeit one week of OTAs, fined by NFL

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens have forfeited one week of offseason practices for violating the labor agreement on such workouts.

The NFL also fined the team an undisclosed amount Thursday.

When the Ravens had rookies and first-year players don pads at a minicamp, it was a violation of the CBA rules. The team acknowledged that on Thursday, saying: "We made a mistake and we are sorry for that. We accept the NFL discipline."

Baltimore's June 1-3 voluntary workouts have been scrapped. The team will have OTAs on June 6-9 and a mandatory minicamp June 14-16.

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