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NFL should quit asking the union for a recommendation on bounty discipline

Roger Goodell AP

The NFL and NFLPA are meeting on Monday in New York to discuss player involvement in the Saints’ bounty situation.  The union continues to want more information, as it should.  And the league continues to want a recommendation as to player discipline.

As it shouldn’t.

It’s not for the NFLPA to make recommendations regarding player discipline.  The procedure is clear.  The NFL imposes discipline, and the player appeals, with the help of the NFLPA.  The union has no obligation to recommend discipline; if anything, making a recommendation could betray the NFLPA’s duty to the affected player.

But that hasn’t stopped the league from asking.  Per ESPN.com, Commissioner Goodell said before the meeting that “we’ll have some information and hopefully a recommendation from the NFLPA.”

It’s unclear why the league event wants NFLPA input, especially in an era where the NFL has established a clear record of acting swiftly and decisively.  The mere fact that the request is being made suggests that the NFL has real concerns here, presumably as it relates to the negative reaction in New Orleans to any decision the Commissioner makes.

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67 Responses to “NFL should quit asking the union for a recommendation on bounty discipline”
  1. boisestatewhodat says: Apr 2, 2012 2:14 PM

    Who Dat!

  2. biggerballz says: Apr 2, 2012 2:15 PM

    Goodell has all the authority according to the CBA, he’s just playing nice asking for the unions opinion when in reality he doesn’t need it.

  3. klutch14u says: Apr 2, 2012 2:15 PM

    I think it’s as simple as what politicians do. This way they can claim bipartisanship. Plus if they involve them now they can claim the players own union was involved in the entire process when someone injured by the Saints during this sues over it.

  4. CKL says: Apr 2, 2012 2:15 PM

    The NFL doesn’t need input from the NFLPA. The fact they are welcoming it is a very PR savvy move on their part. I have to admit it’s funny watching the NFLPA bungle this one too the way they are acting. Nice representation you have there, players…NOT.

  5. ahs2 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:18 PM

    Totally Agree!!! There’s a point where political good will has to take a back seat and this is a good example. Unions protect their own, period, and protecting the “bad guys” will take precedent over really giving them the screws & protecting the “hunted”.

  6. whatnojets says: Apr 2, 2012 2:19 PM

    It’s like Obama asking Joe The Plumber ” do you mind if we bomb the crap out of….”

  7. dudicle says: Apr 2, 2012 2:19 PM

    I think it’s a good idea. Kind of like asking your kid to pick their own punishment (of course, you as a parent have the final say). Union can’t complain if they had input on the punishment. But, yes, it does put the union in a tough spot. However, they need to pick a side on this, and I’d say the victims are the players around the league who were targeted, not the ones who were part of the bounty system.

  8. das14 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:20 PM

    The reason he is asking is a little game of tic tac toe because the concern is circumventing the salary cap.

  9. razic3k says: Apr 2, 2012 2:20 PM

    Goodell is obviously extremely confident that the information they have regarding bounties is enough and irrefutable.

    The NFLPA does not want to propose a recommendation on player discipline that will make it look like they are turning their backs on the same people that they represent.

    What the NFL really wants is HGH testing, and that is what the NFL will get.

  10. desertspin says: Apr 2, 2012 2:21 PM

    Think he should’ve skipped getting a union recommendation – it’s a no win for union & all they’re gonna do is try to make him look bad.

  11. tfaulk says: Apr 2, 2012 2:21 PM

    EVERY union that has ever existed has had to play both sides of the fence: what is good for our representatives at this one moment in time and what is good for our organization and industry over the long term. This leads to compromise that doesn’t necessarily benefit all members at the moment, or even more narrowly, a particularly small subset of members who acted against the union/industry.

    To argue that the NFLPA cannot and should not do anything but what is in the best interests of the players affected is foolish and largely the source of the NFLPA looking bad over the last decade.

  12. xtutx says: Apr 2, 2012 2:22 PM

    This could be a wise move. If the NFLPA downlplays this, it can be used in court as players nor their Union representation aren’t truly concerned about player safety, which can help the NFL out in many ways.

    Connect the dots.

  13. dreamofkristen says: Apr 2, 2012 2:22 PM

    NFLPA: We reccomend that discipline be in the form of a slap on the wrist.

    Goodell: But i am the Gustapo dammit!!!!! I must make an example out of the Saints and all involved!!!!

    NFLPA: But Roger, all teams do something similar, hell, even college teams have a helmet sticker system that can be somewhat similar. We(and 90% of sane Americans) feel you have gone waaaay overboard on the Saints

    Goodell: But i am the Gustapo!!! I must be feared!!! The integrity of the game is essential!

    NFLPA: If it is the integrity you are concerned with, why did you destroy evidence so quickly and only give a slap on the wrists to the Patriots who did much more serious things?

    Goodell: Don’t worry about that! I am the Gustapo!! The safety of the game is essetial!

    NFLPA: But Roger, you have watered down the game so much, people are calling it a flag football league and fans are tuning out!!

    I don’t care about fans. I dont care about ruining the league. I am the Gustapo dammit!!!!!!!

  14. nashvilletrojan says: Apr 2, 2012 2:23 PM

    Professional Courtesy?

  15. txtuff says: Apr 2, 2012 2:24 PM

    It is clear as can been, if the NFL asks the union and gives the player what the union suggest then a appeal is mute!

  16. r0b1b0y says: Apr 2, 2012 2:24 PM

    The correct judgment and ruling from Goodell should have been a lifetime ban on Williams and the maximum fine allowable to the team, Loomis, Payton, Vilma and a couple other players. This would have satisfied everyone except Williams and Florio.

  17. dagnon13 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:26 PM

    Who Dat? Unsportsmanlike clowns Dat’s who.

  18. captatl says: Apr 2, 2012 2:26 PM

    Do they not teach that Who dat is a question at Boise State? The answer is Roger Goodell, as well as the supporting 31 other owners. Thats, Who Dat?

  19. domeinate says: Apr 2, 2012 2:26 PM

    Think New Orelans has already made up its mind regarding the NFL as well as volunteering for the SuperBowl. City shuts down during a Saints game. Think everyone should not be surprised at a chilly reception.

    We dance to our own tune.

  20. eaglesnoles05 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:26 PM

    Goodell is trying to make it look like he is kissing the NFLPA’s butts, because he’s about to suspend multiple players for at least a season.

  21. razic3k says: Apr 2, 2012 2:28 PM

    xtutx says:
    Apr 2, 2012 2:22 PM
    This could be a wise move. If the NFLPA downlplays this, it can be used in court as players nor their Union representation aren’t truly concerned about player safety, which can help the NFL out in many ways.

    Connect the dots.

    BRILLIANT.

  22. erod22 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:30 PM

    This is designed to corner the union in the future when they continue to file lawsuits for head injuries and whatnot (123 cases are pending). If players want lesser penalties for players, then how can they complain that the league isn’t doing enough to prevent injuries?

  23. sullijo1 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:31 PM

    Somebody please explain to me why these millionaires need a union…..

  24. sullijo1 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:33 PM

    On second thought….how many 1%’s do these unions represent? There’s got to be a bunch of them here.

    Pretty lame Union people – act like you support the poor working man, but instead, you support the 1%’s.

  25. grogantomorgan says: Apr 2, 2012 2:34 PM

    It’s terrible that the NFL would want to create a united front/message including the NFLPA.

    That would be called cooperation … terrible !

  26. rayala3 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:35 PM

    Big Bad NFL scared of the NFLPA. lol

  27. bigperm33 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:35 PM

    No, what the NFL should do is allow this story to linger for a few more months. What a joke. No one is better than Roger Goodell at letting bad PR remain in the news longer than he is. This was an NFL investigation – why was the story public at all before the league had a clue what it was doing? We are now over a month old and thanks to Roger, this story will remain in the news and be a part of all draft coverage. I don’t love David Stern, but he would never let this happen. The tim donaghy scandal – a scandal 100 times worse than this – stern dealt with quickly and moved on. The brawl between the pacers and pistons, he handed out punishments and moved on. Goodell is so incapable of action it is a joke – part of that reason is he has no idea what he is doing. and unless the answer is a simple yes this will make the league more money, he has no clue what to do. and just lets these stories sit and sit and sit. it allows it to be dissected from every angle, it allows his decision to be undermined, and it allows his decisions to seem completely arbitrary.

  28. klutch14u says: Apr 2, 2012 2:35 PM

    Funny thing about this is all this really comes down to the players. Sure the money was offered by the coaches in some cases but they had their own union members trying to off their other union members. NFL handles the coaches, well WTF do you guys wanna do with your players?? HAHAHAHAHA

  29. themonster49 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:36 PM

    Maybe the NFLPA should address HGH testing and the NFL can back off of other possible player punishment inquiries.

    Sounds like a “Still wanna respond with ‘what is HGH’ huh? Ok then, we’ll publicly request you recommend what to do with another possibly criminal player punishment scenario.” situation to me.

    Either way, players will be punished.

  30. patsaintsbroncoscheat says: Apr 2, 2012 2:37 PM

    Yep it seems pretty obvious to most of us on this why the NFL is interested in asking for a recommendation. First it puts the Union on record as to how serious they are regarding their own players safety. Second it is hard to appeal a punishment your own union came up with.

  31. patsaintsbroncoscheat says: Apr 2, 2012 2:39 PM

    sullijo1 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:31 PM

    Somebody please explain to me why these millionaires need a union…..
    _________________
    They don’t! But as an educated work force they realize the biggest piece of the pie they can get is through an organized work force and in America we all try to maximize our own profits.

  32. jakek2 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:41 PM

    Its called CYA from the potential lawsuit that the Saints, the GM, coaches and players will all be filing soon. Goodell got players blessing to discipline all non-players. Once he gets the players OK to discipline the players, Goodell can show up in court and say, “look, the players sanctioned all of my suspensions”. The guy is a tyrant and I hope that he is somehow found personally liable in these suits.

  33. klutch14u says: Apr 2, 2012 2:43 PM

    whatnojets says: Apr 2, 2012 2:19 PM

    It’s like Obama asking Joe The Plumber ” do you mind if we bomb the crap out of….”

    I’m quite certain that at the time of Joe the Plumber’s relevancy he would have been better decision maker about who to bomb than Obama was. Probably still is but surely Obama learned something by now…. maybe

  34. boisestatewhodat says: Apr 2, 2012 2:44 PM

    I don’t know what’s taught at Boise State…I went to Tulane. Who Dat may be a question to the rest of the country, and technically it is…especially if you’re referring to the Who Dat song. However, down here its more of an ideology or a fabric of the most eclectic, cultured city in the country. Boise State does however have a kick ass football team.

  35. franktherat96 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:45 PM

    He’s asking for a recommendation because they have yet to really release any real proof other then what they “said” happened and Roger nows he can screw over the coaches because they have no union, but knows if he tries that stuff with the players it can backfire on him.

  36. nolarules says: Apr 2, 2012 2:50 PM

    can we just get the punishment handed down here??? this is taking forever. As a Saints fan, I am just ready to know the punishment and move on. I am sure fans from the other 31 teams are just sick and tired of hearing about all of this. Give the punishment, let the chips fall where they may, and move on.

  37. sportmentary says: Apr 2, 2012 2:59 PM

    The NFLPA has no interest in the integrity of the game. They only care about protecting their criminal players, their drug addict players and players who break the rules.

  38. jennstergersburnedretinas says: Apr 2, 2012 3:05 PM

    @dreamofkristen

    Please dream up the correct spelling of Gestapo.

    Oh wait, I did it for ewe.

  39. cowboycjn says: Apr 2, 2012 3:09 PM

    I think he has a pretty good idea of the punishment he wants to dole out. The problem is half of the defensive players involved, are not with the Saints anymore. How do you suspend a player that belongs to another team now – there-by making that new team suffer the lost of that player. Many teams aquired those players thinking they would strengthen up their team’s weak spot.
    Thats why when this is all done with – the NFL needs a more detailed procedures manual of who, when, and what kind of punishment for various rule breaking. That way it would deal with various issues in a consistent manner no mattter which team breaks the rules. They need some consistency- same with fines of illegal hits – there needs to be some guidelines. How can you operate by making things up as you go? Oh – I know they can’t write every lil infraction, but at least some sort of guidelines to go by. Once in print the guidelines are made aware of to every team so they will know whats coming down the pipeline without being taken by surprise.
    That way Goodell would not be a judge but the man enforcing the guidelines that is set up prior to infractions being commited and all teams knew about before hand. Its called organization.

  40. maxbelmont says: Apr 2, 2012 3:13 PM

    The NFLPA also represents those who were the targets of the bounties. I believe that involving the NFLPA is also being used to set precedence.

  41. sportmentary says: Apr 2, 2012 3:13 PM

    The fact that players are with another team shouldn’t matter. Williams isn’t the coach for the Saints anymore and he was suspended. I might be wrong but I’m sure NFL execs and owners new that of the bounty investigation and possible players involved, yet they took a chance on them. Now they will pay that price.

  42. jennstergersburnedretinas says: Apr 2, 2012 3:13 PM

    Yes cowboy you suspend the player regardless of the team. It’s kind of like fleeing the state in the belief that if you leave the state you’re no longer in trouble.

    Duh.

  43. packerfan1000 says: Apr 2, 2012 3:25 PM

    NFLPA: But Roger, you have watered down the game so much, people are calling it a flag football league and fans are tuning out!!

    ——————

    Fans are not tuning out. Do not say things that are not true. It ruins your credibility.

  44. cliffordc05 says: Apr 2, 2012 3:26 PM

    I don’t understand what is wrong with the league requesting input from the NFLPA. The NFLPA is in the best position to weigh the relative merits because there was potential harm to some of its members which must be balanced against the punishment meted out to other members. They are the only ones with skin in the game on both sides. Its pretty easy for the league to hand out fines and suspensions particularly since it seems only one franchise will be affected.

  45. voxnovo says: Apr 2, 2012 3:33 PM

    Good post, Mike.

    So, which of the partners in this moronic dance is dumber, the league or the NFLPA?

  46. shaunypoo says: Apr 2, 2012 3:38 PM

    I believe the punishments for the coaches are correct and he will dole out fair punishments for the players. Sorry, you were the first ones caught so you get your nuts in a vise.

    Don’t scream at Goodell to improve player safety and then deride him when he makes a move to improve player safety. You can’t have it both ways.

  47. thraiderskin says: Apr 2, 2012 3:38 PM

    Asking the Union makes the NFL look weak when it absoultely must appear resolute. The point of the union is to protect the common worker from their employer and provide a legal balance between the two entities. By getting input from the Union, the NFL is essentially trying to rob the players of support from an organization paid to support them. I am not a union guy, especially the way they operate now, but the NFLPA has already “made a deal with the devil” by being bought off in order to get the cap increased. With their actions in support of the punishment doled out to the Skins and Boys, they have happered their own constituency in getting paid by two of the most player-pocketbook-friendly organizations. The NFLPA can no count itself one of the many corrupted, self-interested unions in this country, and we have a hole lot of them.

  48. farmmbig says: Apr 2, 2012 3:38 PM

    New Orleans playing the victim card again… They’ve gotten really good at it.

    If the commissioner reduces the consequence for these clowns (Saints coaches and executives), it would be a slap to the face of every other football fan in this country that expects a fair game to be played and overseen.

    Set your example of this franchise so you NEVER have to deal with this issue again.

  49. trapshoot says: Apr 2, 2012 3:40 PM

    Does no harm to get their input.

  50. thetooloftools says: Apr 2, 2012 3:42 PM

    Goodell is only acting like he remotly gives a crap about what the players union thinks. This is a ruse. Don’t get hooked.

  51. upper23 says: Apr 2, 2012 3:43 PM

    The thing many are forgetting, is the people being hunted are players also. So to me it makes perfect sense to get the unions opinion. They represent everyone involved. It’s not like they are in the position to protect one at the expense of the other. At least I would hope not. This isn’t the league against the players. Its players against players. So the union should have be at the table when punishment is discussed.

  52. cwmorga says: Apr 2, 2012 4:01 PM

    @dagnon13 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:26 PM

    Who Dat? Unsportsmanlike clowns Dat’s who.

    ————————–

    Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?

    Unsportsmanlike clowns Dat’s who.

    Are you sure that’s what you were trying to convey? I swear this bounty crap has made people really stupid.

  53. paulitik74 says: Apr 2, 2012 4:13 PM

    Goodell babied New Orleans the last 5 years, and all it got him was defiance and embarassment. Goodell needs to quit letting Benson and the criminals he employs guilt him into lessening the punishment deserved.

    Saints fans need to be grateful this is all the punishment they’ve received. The Ornstein and Vicodin scandals have been virtually swept under the rug. If a player had been involved in ticket, jersey fraud, and prescription drug trafficking, do you think it would have been ignored? No.

    If this had been any other team, the coach and GM wouldve been fired, wins would be forfeited, and a bevy of draft picks would be taken away. Goodell shouldn’t let Katrina and the fact that New Orleans is his favorite city to hold a Super Bowl, keep him from doing his job.

  54. kokomike says: Apr 2, 2012 4:17 PM

    So, the NFLPA agrees with NFL cap penalty of $36 mil on Skins, thus damaging players on the Skins. They agree to give that cap money to other teams which won’t spend it, thus damaging more players in the NFL.

    NFL and NFLPA have gone over to the dark side.

  55. deathtoromo says: Apr 2, 2012 4:29 PM

    Unions were formed for the most part to protect WORKERS from poor working conditions. Unions modern day are a joke and contributed to the collapse of the auto makers. The bigger joke is millionaires or a guy making the league minimum, which is still in the hundreds of thousands, need representation for fair working conditions and compensation. Ridiculous.

  56. skins4seven says: Apr 2, 2012 5:26 PM

    This is a good move. Goodell looks out for the owners while the nflpa looks out for the players. More decisions should be made this way and not just Goodell doing a Castro impression

  57. skins4seven says: Apr 2, 2012 5:27 PM

    This is a good move. Goodell looks out for the owners while the nflpa looks out for the players. More decisions should be made this way and not just Goodell doing a Castro impression.

  58. stevemdlthn says: Apr 2, 2012 5:47 PM

    LISTEN FELLOW SAINTS FANS….Make your voice be heard. Only support saints football locally. Cancel Nfl Network, don’t watch any non saints games on TV. Watch ESPN or HBO or something else. put this on your facebook. Call your local sports radio stations, TELL YOUR FRIENDS , RELATIVES, COWORKERS. LETS MAKE THIS VIRAL. LETS GET THE WHOLE GULF COAST INVOLVED. HIT GOODELL IN THE POCKETS. SUPPORT THE SAINTS ONLY.

  59. mjkelly77 says: Apr 2, 2012 5:50 PM

    Show me yours first then I’ll show you mine. Pretty sound strategy just to establish a basement for the punishment.

  60. olcap says: Apr 2, 2012 6:17 PM

    It’s all part of the plan.

    This is Goodell’s “out”. The pretense of fairness with the union will most likely result in insignificant penalties for the players involved, and will give him an excuse to lower the penalties on the higher-up worms.

    Mark my words.

  61. mjkelly77 says: Apr 2, 2012 6:20 PM

    stevemdlthn says:Apr 2, 2012 5:47 PM

    LISTEN FELLOW SAINTS FANS….Make your voice be heard. Only support saints football locally. Cancel Nfl Network, don’t watch any non saints games on TV. Watch ESPN or HBO or something else. put this on your facebook. Call your local sports radio stations, TELL YOUR FRIENDS , RELATIVES, COWORKERS. LETS MAKE THIS VIRAL. LETS GET THE WHOLE GULF COAST INVOLVED. HIT GOODELL IN THE POCKETS. SUPPORT THE SAINTS ONLY.
    ____________

    Sure. Never happen. Don’t you know that the NFL is more addictive than crack?

  62. hairpie says: Apr 2, 2012 6:32 PM

    Why are Saints fans so mad? You’re going to “boycott” the NFL because your team was caught cheating, then lied about it multiple times and you’re mad at the punishment??? Are you serious? Try losing a first round pick and ESPN calling you cheaters for taping 6 plays and 23 seconds of tape, then volunteering info to the league that they use against you and leak to fans. then come crying.

  63. Deb says: Apr 2, 2012 6:43 PM

    Haven’t agreed with much Goodell has done, but this stuff speaks for itself. I do believe the harshest punishment should go to the coaches–and the more the coaches and fans whine and talk about doing TV gigs, the more I believe it should be lifetime bans across the board because clearly Payton doesn’t get it. But Goodell doesn’t need the union’s permission to slam players for deliberately trying to jeopardize the livelihoods of their fellow union members. The union should not even be supporting the so-called “Saints” on this.

  64. mjkelly77 says: Apr 2, 2012 6:53 PM

    NFL should quit asking the union for a recommendation on bounty discipline
    _____________________

    Why? The NFL can ignore the recommendation and do as it pleases. Commissioner Goodell is pretty shrewd. It will be interesting to see what the NFLPA does.

  65. olcap says: Apr 2, 2012 9:10 PM

    mjkelly77 says:
    Apr 2, 2012 6:53 PM

    Commissioner Goodell is pretty shrewd.
    ———————————

    Link? Any proof of that claim?

  66. kodakinvegas says: Apr 2, 2012 11:04 PM

    Hey Demaurice, you’re telling your boys to get ready to hire attys that are gonna tell them to keep their mouths shut cuz ANYTHING THEY SAY CAN be used AGAINST them. You should have already figured out that YOU also should keep YOUR mouth shut. Publicly, the more this is rxposed, the more unwanted attention you’re gonna get. DA’s, IRS, Federal Investigations, organized Crime agents, etc, etc. Shut up already and tell everybody to take it on the chin and zip their mouths. Thank God you don’t represent me. Geez

  67. sportmentary says: Apr 2, 2012 11:18 PM

    NFLPA must know that players broke rules and possibly the law for him to take this position.

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