NFL Media's Albert Breer has reported that when Winston met with Goodell in March, Winston said the plan was for him to be at home for the draft. Goodell told MMQB.com in a post published Monday that Winston "was clear that he wanted to spend time with his family. We've had that occur on several occasions over the years."
The most recent No. 1 pick not to attend the draft was Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson, a defensive tackle from Ohio State who went first overall to the Cincinnati Bengals in 1994.
"I'm not concerned with that," Goodell said. "I think that it's something we respect when a player says, 'I'd like to be with my family on that day.' It's an important day for them also."
Remember, though, that the draft still is more than a month away, and plans can change. Being the No. 1 overall pick in any draft allows the prospect special time in the spotlight, and Winston's family could be in the spotlight with him in Chicago.
Goodell also said that his meeting with Winston came at Winston's request.
"It was a good opportunity for us to make sure that he understood the expectations that we have of him as a player in the NFL, for him to ask questions of us and to make sure that there is clarity about the importance of the personal-conduct policy and the expectations we have of everyone -- whether you're a player, whether you're a first-round draft choice or whether you're the commissioner," Goodell said. "We have a responsibility to live up to them."