Skip to main content

Roger Goodell talks 2021 NFL Draft, why Thursday's game was so special and more in Browns Fan Forum

Roger Goodell plans to be in Cleveland for the 2021 NFL Draft.

The NFL Commissioner, speaking with Browns season ticket holders in a special fan forum event Tuesday, said the league is "full steam ahead" with plans to host the draft in Cleveland, as previously planned, one year after executing an entirely virtual draft because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"That's our intent and we're going to work toward that objective," Goodell said. 

Goodell said there likely will be some virtual elements included in the draft, which is scheduled to begin April 29, 2021, and run through May 1. The league found plenty of success with its virtual presentation in 2020 and wants to build off that momentum.

Still, Goodell plans for it to be a big weekend for Northeast Ohio.

"The draft when you're in Cleveland should reflect Cleveland," Goodell said. "It should reflect the city we're in, the fans we're around, the history and the tradition and what's special about your city. This is a chance for you to be on that stage in front of millions of people. 

"This is a chance to show how you do things in Cleveland. I think that enthusiasm I always see from Browns fans when I'm in Cleveland, I think it's going to be a great opportunity for them."

Why Tonight Is Special

The league celebrated its 100th season throughout 2019 and will honor the 100th birthday of the league tonight when the Browns and Bengals represent the State of Ohio — where the league was founded back on Sept. 17, 1920 — on Thursday Night Football.

Goodell said he will be in attendance for what he considers a "really special day."

"Our birthplace is Canton, Ohio, and Ohio has meant so much to our history," Goodell said. "To be able to do this game and have the Battle of Ohio is a fitting way to do this."

Praise for Tretter

Goodell also praised Browns C JC Tretter for his work as President of the NFL Players Association throughout the offseason. Tretter was at the center of the negotiations and discussions as the NFL and the NFLPA worked together to craft the best policies that put the safety of players, coaches and team employees at the forefront.

"I don't think it could have happened without that collaboration," Goodell said. "JC was tremendous as the leader of the NFLPA. He was in so many of the meetings and really took an active role in that and it benefitted us all."