NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is not widely beloved by NFL players. This can hardly be a surprise following the lockout in 2011 and the New Orleans Saints BountyGate scandal last year. Now, we've got some numbers to back up the conventional wisdom.
"It's obvious that I disapprove," Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison said of how Goodell has performed on the job. "I feel like what he's doing is not totally for the safety of players. ... A lot of stuff they've done, (such as) fining guys crazy amounts of money for helmet-to-helmet hits and all that and saying you're doing this for the safety of players. But yet you want to add extra games to the regular season."
"I miss Paul Tagliabue. The league has changed," Smith said. "Bountygate was all 'he-said, she-said' stuff."
Other players mentioned the officiating during the referee lockout as a negative for Goodell. But a surprising amount of players -- 39 percent -- believed Goodell was doing a good job.
We're not sure what conclusions to draw from the poll. Would approval be much higher a few years ago? Was Tagliabue particularly popular when he was in charge? It's hard to say without having numbers from previous years.
Popularity with players isn't the ultimate goal for Goodell, as some players pointed out. Goodell's approval rating among NFL owners, his bosses, could well be in the triple digits.