Players are Goodell's toughest critics

Commissioner struggles to forge relationship with players at odds with his reign

Originally Published: May 7, 2012
By Jeffri Chadiha | ESPN.com

NEW YORK -- On the Wednesday before the NFL draft, as mid-morning sunshine soaked lower Manhattan, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell strode onto a soccer field cluttered with giddy children, eager reporters and 26 draft prospects. The league had organized a football clinic as part of its "Play 60" program, and Goodell, wearing a baggy blue sweat suit, ambled to midfield to survey the action. The commissioner was there to help future rookies sell youth fitness, but he didn't overlook an opportunity ...

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