Fair or Not, Goodell's Image Takes a Beating

Fair or Not, Goodell's Image Takes a Beating

One player called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell "a jerk." Another said Goodell's unwillingness to corral owners sooner during the labor dispute is the reason the lockout lasted so long. Another player explained if he saw Goodell now he might not shake his hand.

One player told CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco that Goodell needs to "drop his nuts." This echoes the most common complaint against the commissioner from players, which is that he hasn't been a bipartisan leader during the lockout.

Then there was this text from a player: "It will take some time for Roger Goodell to repair the damage to player relationships that was done during the lockout."

None of this is totally fair, of course. Goodell is not to blame for the lockout. The lockout was a jointly engaged disaster with plenty of hubris and greed to go around. No one man, even one as powerful as Goodell, is to blame.

Yet as the lockout rests peacefully on its death bed, doctors feeling the wrist and detecting a weak pulse, one thing is clear: Goodell will have to repair his image with a significant portion of his player base. If you doubt that, you haven't been listening to enough players.

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