Goodell's call to Ochocinco permitted because it was social

Who says NFL players and officials can't get along?

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, one of Twitter's biggest stars, let his followers know Thursday that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had phoned him "to see how I was doing" and declared it "cool as fudge."

Goodell confirmed the conversation Friday, and league officials said it didn't violate the rule restricting communication during the NFL lockout because it was informal and purely social.

"He tweeted me out," Goodell told *USA Today*. "He asked me to call him. I talk to players all the time."

Ochocinco, who has 1.94 million followers on Twitter, sent two tweets Wednesday to Goodell.

In the first, after followers blasted him for linking to an article sympathetic to the players' side in the labor dispute, Ochocinco implored Goodell to end the lockout: "@nflcommish excuse me can we get a deal done or at least show some sign we are close?I mentioned the Lockout n my twitter is like WW2 #c'mon."

A little later, Ochocinco contacted Goodell about the Chicago Bears-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game scheduled for Oct. 23 at Wembley Stadium outside London. Ochocinco, a rabid fan of European soccer, had a request: "@nflcommish Can you call me please?Not about the lockout but it's about the trip to London,can u change the teams going based on where I go?"

Ochocinco has one year remaining on his contract with the Bengals, but many believe the team will cut ties with him once a collective bargaining agreement is reached.

Goodell made his call Thursday, and Ochocinco tweeted about it three times:

» "I just received the most amazing surprise phone call from @nflcommish.He called to see how I was doing and asked how my workouts were #EPIC"

» "#Truth I was nervous as hell when @nflcommish called me earlier, just the thought of him taking the time out to call is cool as fudge."

» "Its a lockout,let alone the offseason and the NFL commissioner called and we held an hour convo.Not sure how yall look at it but that's cool."

Goodell told a gathering at the annual Associated Press Sports Editors meeting that he has chatted with other players during the lockout and would continue to do so, but league officials acknowledged the guidelines of what's acceptable behavior by teams included some gray area.

"The easy thing to do is say: 'You can't call,' " Eric Grubman, the league's executive vice president for business operations, said when he met Friday with APSE.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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