Six years after draft week was marred by the discovery of a dog-fighting operation on Mike Vick’s property in rural Virginia, another controversy has landed in the lap of the league as draft day looms.
And Commissioner Roger Goodell has had to spend time trying to figure out what happened.
Via multiple reports, Goodell met with Browns owner Jimmy Haslam in New York on Tuesday. Goodell disclosed the meeting during a pre-draft event on Wednesday.
“Jimmy is doing everything he’s asked,” Goodell said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “He’s cooperating. He wants to make sure that he is doing all of the right things in that regard and he has assured us that he is going to [do all of the right things].”
Goodell also addressed the fact that the league didn’t know about the fraud investigation at Pilot Flying J when Haslam received approval to buy the Browns.
“It’s an investigation and it was held very tightly by the FBI and the authorities,” Goodell said. “They didn’t share this information with us and they shouldn’t. That’s something that is their prerogative.”
Still, the NFL surely would have preferred knowing. Which raises an obvious question to which the league likely won’t provide a straight answer.
If you knew then what you know now, would Haslam have been approved as the owner of the team?
Though we’ll never know the truth on that point, Haslam would be wise to tell the truth and nothing but the truth to Goodell.