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Arbitrator rejects bounty grievance

Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

The week has ended the same way it began — with an arbitrator dismissing a bounty grievance.

First it was Stephen Burbank, who disagreed with the argument that the punishment imposed on four players arising from the Saints bounty system falls within the scope of the labor deal’s prohibition against salary-cap violations.  As a result, Burbank concluded that Commissioner Roger Goodell, not Burbank, had jurisdiction over the discipline and appeal process.

On Friday, arbitrator Shyam Das dismissed a separate bounty grievance that raises two arguments:  (1) Goodell has no ability to discipline players for any misconduct occurring before the 2011 labor deal was signed; and (2) the discipline arises from on-field misconduct, which means that the appeals should be resolved by Ted Cottrell or Art Shell.

The ruling was disclosed via Twitter by NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, who may or may not have been spiking a football with one hand as he typed the tweet with the other.

Per multiple sources with knowledge of the proceedings, the ruling from Das is not subject to appeal.  (The Burbank ruling can, and will, be appealed.)

Goodell has scheduled hearings on the appeals of Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, Saints defensive end Will Smith, Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove, and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita for June 18.

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20 Responses to “Arbitrator rejects bounty grievance”
  1. mitchdms says: Jun 8, 2012 4:59 PM

    Personally, I think this is terrible for the long term health of the league and just solidifies Goodell’s insane power. But it’s time for the players to accept that they are out of options. Go before the king, beg forgiveness, and get on with football.

    Then those taking joy in this can wait until the next team or player is unfortunate enough to face off with the league, and hope its not your favorite.

  2. LoCoSu@%s says: Jun 8, 2012 4:59 PM

    Possible conclusions
    a) The NFL has stud lawyers.
    b) The NFLPA sucks.
    c) R-Good has friends in high places.

    Or all of the above.

  3. bunjy96 says: Jun 8, 2012 5:05 PM

    The Arbitrator can read the same CBA agreement like anyone else except the NFLPA.

    They are grasping at straws and keep coming up empty.

  4. The Savant Chronicles says: Jun 8, 2012 5:11 PM

    Not disagreeing with the ruling or punishments by any means…but I’m guessing Shyam Das had to give out a “league victory” here.

    He hands out another Ryan Braun-style “players victory”, he probably winds up out of a second job in what – two months?

  5. ilovefoolsball says: Jun 8, 2012 5:13 PM

    SURPRISE SURPRISE!
    I’m very surprised with this ruling.
    No really I am.

    I also think that this whole ordeal has been an entirely fair, unbiased process, that has not had one ounce of emotionally charged rhetoric or any unethical practices by the NFL.

    They have always been above the bar and acted with dignity, maturity and professionalism.

    They have never jumped to conclusions nor have they ever doctored any statements made by the accused.

    The NFL.

    Real. True. Not.

  6. jaydog76 says: Jun 8, 2012 5:14 PM

    Wonder why the owners don’t see that fans are being turned off by the “commisioner’s” power and find someone who is reasonable. I for one am tiring quickly of his tyrant type methods.

  7. Buttsnake says: Jun 8, 2012 5:19 PM

    Arbitrator also ruled that flag football will be in effect by 2016 and the NFL will cease to exist by 2025.
    If you want to watch real football, might want to watch some of the games on ESPN Classic

  8. letmesetyoustraight says: Jun 8, 2012 5:19 PM

    Dude just got fired by MLB after ruling in favor of Ryan Braun in his PED case. No way in Hell he was going to risk that again.

  9. jwayne111 says: Jun 8, 2012 5:19 PM

    Well whats the next union ploy?

    Just do the time

    All knows you guys did the “crime”
    Tough pill to swallow! it must have been fun at the time.

  10. cwwgk says: Jun 8, 2012 5:29 PM

    Just another name to add to the already lengthy conspiracy list.

  11. dirkified says: Jun 8, 2012 5:30 PM

    R-Good has done wonders for this league. If only NBA and MLB had a commish like this.. Hate all you want..

  12. disp2 says: Jun 8, 2012 5:53 PM

    “Wonder why the owners don’t see that fans are being turned off by the “commisioner’s” power and find someone who is reasonable. I for one am tiring quickly of his tyrant type methods.”

    And yet the NFL gets more popular every year. You’re kidding yourself if you don’t think the NFL owners like Goodell. They’re making more money under his tenure than they did with Tagliabue, and money is the name of the game.

  13. indyeagle says: Jun 8, 2012 5:54 PM

    Goodell is the man! I love how we get a commish that doesn’t put up with any crap, wants people to simply follow the rules, and enforces said rules, yet some idiot fans want to blast him like he’s power hungry! It’s his job, you turds!

  14. andrewfbrowne says: Jun 8, 2012 6:50 PM

    If I do something wrong at work my boss can discipline me, it does not make power hungry. There is a really small percentage of guys in league who screw up and get called to the commish office, but two things always happen it makes the news and they have big mouths.

  15. marcinhouston says: Jun 8, 2012 7:00 PM

    I think Das holds his job at the pleasure of both the NFLPA and NFL. I think the NFLPA can and will dismiss him for this. He lets Ryan Braun off scott free in MLB, yet he won’t even let the appeal go to Cottrell and Shell for this? Talk about a double standard. Pretty soon Das will only be the arbitrator for disputes in the hog race at his state fair.

  16. voyager6 says: Jun 8, 2012 7:01 PM

    This is solely indicative of the failure of the NFLPA in negotiating the CBA. You can’t go back and unilaterally change it. Personally, if I were the NFL, and the judge ruled against this clear language, then I’d declare the fact the union has just voided the CBA and must negotiate all over again. And if needed, another lockout.

  17. rmavs says: Jun 8, 2012 8:19 PM

    The power that Goodell now has was written in the new CBA! If the players didn’t want him having this much power, then they should have read it before they signed it.

  18. thejuddstir says: Jun 8, 2012 9:08 PM

    With these decisions in his back pocket, I say it’s time that Goodell tell the players who want to keep making a mockery of the nfl that if they open their mouths again, that their discipline gets increased. Enough of this nonsense, it’s time to put this crap behind and if it means punishing the players and the saints harsher then so be it.

  19. rubbernilly says: Jun 8, 2012 10:08 PM

    It’s like De Smith ran a pyramid scheme with his player clientele:

    He spent all of their money/power/negotiating leverage on sound & fury, just to get himself reelected.

    The result:
    He got elected.
    The players are getting hosed.

  20. jucam1 says: Jun 8, 2012 10:15 PM

    Stop it with the Goodell hate!…. That is what happens when the players bent over on the CBA…. The Saints have no footing, they got caught, punished, and almost destroyed for their cheating culture….. If the players and teams don’t like Goodell having supreme powers then they shouldn’t have signed the CBA…. It is what it is people…

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