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Roger Goodell now Jolly Roger

This is only peripherally related to anything Jaguars, but I thought it would be appropriate to note that after all the talk of who the "losers" are in the lockout, there is one clear winner: Roger Goodell.

Goodell was faced with a very difficult situation when he took over as the commissioner of the NFL. From the day he took over, Goodell has had to deal with head injuries, exploding player salaries, and oh yeah, a gigantic labor dispute. It has been his role to remain calm and level-headed throughout the negotiations and keep his focus on the long-term future of the NFL. I believe that he has done so, and because of it, he has cemented himself in the role as commissioner. No matter what happens from here on out, his career will last at least as long as the new Collective Bargaining agreement he was instrumental in bringing about.

I'm not the only one who thinks this. Actually, Albert Breer has been very vocal in commending the job Goodell has done in the past few weeks keeping the negotiations on track. As much as I am annoyed by his excessive fines for violent hits and the questionable rules changes concerning catches (you know, the Calvin Johnson play) he has made in the past few years, I respect Goodell for being consistently goal-oriented throughout the whole lockout/CBA process.

From the end of last season on, Goodell has been consistent in saying he wants to stay out of litigation (which only slowed down the process and ultimately decided nothing) and in the bargaining room. There were never any reports that Goodell was unwilling to meet with player reps despite the opposite being true. When T.O. requested a phone conversation with Goodell, Goodell obliged him (in an obvious political move, but still a classy one.)

I believe he has been fair, and while he has been trying to get the owners the best possible deal, he was willing to look at the players' requests and allow a lot of what the players were asking for in the new CBA (rookie wage scale, increased post-career benefits, etc.) Ultimately, I think Goodell has to be very happy with himself and his standing in the NFL community following the resolution of this labor disagreement. Also, as fans of a small-market team, we owe Goodell for not caving in to the Dan Snyder's and Jerry Jones' but really working for a deal that benefits everyone. I feel that Goodell has done a great job as the commissioner this offseason.