Relationship Between Goodell, NFLPA Strong Ahead Of Labor Talks
The relationship between NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith, is in "as good a place as it's been in a long time, maybe going all the [way] back to the last labor deal being struck" in '11, according to Albert Breer of THE MMQB. The "turning point" for the two came last summer, when Goodell "conceded to the union the mistakes the owners made in pushing the anthem policy" through last May. From that point, the league and union "worked together on a new anthem policy -- ultimately deciding to leave it alone." Breer: "Does that mean there's a great chance of labor peace in 2021? It does not. But with a deal in place that's been pretty good for both sides on the whole, there's at least reason for hope" (SI.com, 4/1).
WINNER OF THE WEEK: In Boston, Ben Volin writes Saints coach Sean Payton was the "big winner" at the league meetings last week after "leading a successful coup" against Competition Committee Chair Rich McKay and other committee members to get the new rule about reviewing pass interference passed. To convince owners to "vote for his proposal, Payton didn't just harp on the missed pass interference call from his own game." He also cited the Week 16 Steelers-Saints game in which a "call benefited the Saints and contributed to their victory." Payton is one of the committee's eight members (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/31).