Goodell says he understands the boos

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Roger Goodell heard the boos loud and clear, and couldn't blame the fans.

"It's the fans' frustration and I understand that," the NFL commissioner said Friday, a day after he was greeted with jeers during the first round of the NFL draft at Radio City Music Hall.

"They want football, you want football and I want football," he added. "I think everyone's frustrated by the circumstance, and I think that was a clear indication of it. I understand their frustration with me not being able to solve that. That's my job and that's my responsibility, and I accept that."

Goodell spoke to about 5,200 New York Jets season-ticket holders for nearly 35 minutes, the latest in a round of conference calls the commissioner has held during the labor dispute. The first day of the draft was held a day after a federal judge again ordered the NFL to lift the lockout, and hours after the league said players could report to team headquarters beginning Friday.

"The sooner we get an agreement," Goodell said, "we can remove the uncertainty."

Goodell says the league will hold a conference call later Friday to address player transaction rules. The guidelines for free agency, trades and other roster moves have been uncertain in the absence of a collective bargaining agreement.

The commissioner was asked how the legal wrangling could ultimately help the average fan.

"We all know what's happening in today's economy and what is happening for consumers," Goodell said, "and being able to continue to afford, whether it's tickets to sporting events or NFL games or other issues, that you all have to address. We cannot continue to have rising costs of our events, particularly attending our events in the NFL. We want to address that responsibly."

Of course, fans also wanted to know if there is a point of no return, when games will have to be canceled.

"Right now our focus is entirely on the negotiations or, in the case that we're forced to do it, defending litigation," Goodell said. "We have not set any drop-dead date on cancellation of games. I certainly hope that that will not be the case and that we can prevent getting even close to that situation."

On Thursday night, fans didn't ease up until Goodell asked for a moment of silence to remember the hundreds of people killed by the tornadoes that tore through the South this week, along with the thousands of others affected.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the commissioner and the league expected the fans' frustration.

"We get it," McCarthy said. "The commish will tell you he's the biggest football fan in the world. That's why he's been in the business for 30 years. We're frustrated too. [The fans] have every right to express themselves."

Information from The Associated Press, ESPNNewYork.com's Jane McManus and ESPN.com's David Wilson was used in this report.