Report: Roger Goodell has support of owners, for now

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For now, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has the support of the owners.

But at least one of them seems to be hedging his bets, awaiting the outcome of the independent investigation into the handling of the Ray Rice punishment.

Peter King of talked to at least two owners, and there’s still a general sense of support for Goodell.

But at least one indicated that’s not necessarily permanent, and that Goodell might not survive the latest wave of bad news.

“This is a good first step,” an owner told King. “But we need to be prepared for any outcome.”

“I am starting to get a sick feeling about how out of control this is getting,” another owner said. “But I am standing by Roger. He has been great for our league.”

That he has made them all a pile of money is one reason Goodell is still widely believed to be safe in his job.

But as important, if not more so, are the owners who are loyal to him.

Goodell already has on-the-record backing from Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Giants co-owner John Mara and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. He was scheduled to present an award last night to Panthers owner Jerry Richardson (canceling at the last minute when this thing got even uglier).

Mara and Steelers president Art Rooney II (another Goodell supporter) are overseeing the investigation headed by former FBI director Robert Mueller.

Those five owners are some of the most influential in league matters, and Goodell has them squarely on his side.

The situation can always change, but it might take clear evidence of a cover-up to erode the support he’s built from his bosses, which is built on the back of billions of dollars.

94 responses to “Report: Roger Goodell has support of owners, for now

  1. Anyone remember when Roger Rabbit told the Saints players that “ignorance is not an excuse”

    I think he should heed his own advice right about now and step down as Commissioner.

  2. Don’t watch the NFL. Don’t buy their sponsors products. Otherwise nothing changes. Tired of sideshow issues dominating the league. Years of this. No end in sight.

  3. When the owners include criminals like Jimmy Haslam, Jim Irsay, and others, it’s not surprising they support Goodell.

  4. I don’t believe anything was done intentionally to hide any evidence. Why would Goodell protect a player? Rice isn’t the face of the NFL. However, I think there is massive ineptitude all the way around. The Ravens believed Rice at his word. If my best friend whom I have know and trusted for 20 years told me that x happened I would believe him. and if later I found out he was lying, after I saw proof, I would be shocked. He told them a lighter version. They believed him and didn’t bother pursuing it. The league office is a different story. You are telling me that a billion dollar empire doesn’t have the means to get this tape? Or that some one in their office had the tape and said – “ehh, I don’t need to tell anyone.”

  5. Until sponsors begin putting pressure on them

    The NFL owners will make gobs of money with or without Roger

    Goodell has created so many false crises it’s appropriate for Goodell-gate to cause him to lose his $40 mil a year job

  6. starting to get tired of “goodell makes the owners a lot of money.” i think the league could be better without him in charge and make more money…. IMO the way the internet/technology has blown up in the last 10 years has made the NFL more
    popular and more money

  7. I think Goodell is toast. Sponsors will start chiming in and threaten to back out or to renegotiate their deals with the NFL.

  8. “The violations were compounded by the failure of Coach Payton to supervise the players and coaches and his affirmative decision starting in 2010 (a) not to inquire into the facts concerning the pay-for-performance/bounty program even though he was aware of the league’s inquiries both in 2010 and 2012…”

    Hello, McFly.

  9. Goodell should ONLY be booted if he lied about not seeing the tape. Anything less than that isn’t enough to have him fired by the owners. Saints fans smell blood, Browns fans and any other team affected by the commish office have a gripe.

    We can’t fire every CEO because of a gripe.

  10. This isnt a coverup. This was a bunch of suits who failed to take a matter seriously – they didn’t care because they weren’t expecting this “minor” criminal episode, of which there are many in the NFL, to blow up in their faces. Their awareness of the situation was lacking and they took no steps to change that because it didn’t seem important.

  11. He has the most influential owners on his side. He isn’t going anywhere, unless there is a smoking gun. And right now there is just a lot of he said she said.

  12. At the end of the day, billionaires are only interested in one thing – their billions. Goodell will remain their puppet, and the players’ dictator, and the fans’ nightmare, until the billionaires lose a couple of bucks.

    I don’t want them to fire Goodell. He will only be replaced by another similar country club- corporate shill- puppet-dictator-nightmare clone. I want the whole system changed. This will occur only if the billionaires suffer the loss of a couple of bucks. Here’s how:

    Mr. D. Smith should gather the 32 player reps and call a general strike right now, and remain on strike, until the CBA is amended to give the players a voice in choosing a commissioner to be paid a reasonable salary by both the owners and the players; plus, a fair and reasonable hearing system for players ( and owners ) accused of wrongdoing.

    With these changes, football will be better off, the NFL will be better off, the players will be better off, and the fans will be better off. And the billionaires can keep stacking up their dough.

  13. The NFL could be overseen by my buddy’s three year old son and still make money….

    Goodell deserves to go because he has pushed two things during his tenure:

    (1) ultimate accountability, even imputing bad behavior to individuals that did not participate in such behavior but were in a position of power to know (e.g., Sean Payton)

    (2) that he, as the commissioner, is deserving of being the ultimate arbiter of all things NFL.

    He pushed these agendas and actively sought hi position of power, and he deserves the spotlight, scrutiny and consequences that should follow when there is failure.

  14. He should have their support. Goodell has been good at cleaning up the league. I get it, he makes a lot of money and has fined or suspended your favorite players so you have to hate him. All saints fans must always hate him now too because he’s why you sucked that year.

    But what did he or the NFL do that was so wrong? His 2 game suspension was still more then what our legal system gave Rice for his actions. He put in a better domestic violence policy when he saw the public outcry. It’s a crappy reason but he still did it. When the video came out he suspended Rice further. To me that’s his only mistaken action here as he already knew what Rice did. Either give him more when you were told the story or stick with it unless the story and new evidence don’t match. Don’t waiver because the main stream media is having a field day with this.

    If anyone knows the name of a good football blog… please let me know. Something that covers the NFL like PFT use to before it merged with NBC and became like ESPN.

  15. There is no stopping the mob once they have made up their mind. The mainstream media has a hold of this story and there is no stopping this train. It was the same thing with Bounty Gate and the PSU scandal. All you heard was “Sean Payton should have done SOMETHING!” and “JoePa should have done SOMETHING!” Well, maybe they did do “something” but that “something” wasn’t up to the standards of the court of public opinion. We literally read comments like “Gregg Williams should be tried for attempted murder!” and “JoePa should be charged with aiding and abetting!”. It was out of control and so is this.

    Bye bye Rog. The mob has decided your fate.

  16. What’s wrong with all you people that are demanding more action from a sports league then your government? How does the LAW get a pass but the NFL crucified? Social policy is dictated by the law, not a sports league.

  17. To trumb1mj: Hardy is playing because he hasn’t been found guilty in a jury trial. The district court verdict means nothing…’s the way things are handled in NC.

  18. Hey NFL I can make you just as much money as that non judicating law school student/limo driver you hired years back and Ill do it at half his salary …..20 million…….

  19. Someone commented recently that Goodell and the owners must think we the fans are stupid. I didn’t think much of that comment until I read this, above:

    “you’ve got my support too roger – lets not forget, the real miscreant here is ray rice…”

    I conclude that they must be right, about many of us anyway.

  20. calhounlambeau says:
    Sep 11, 2014 12:53 PM
    Don’t watch the NFL. Don’t buy their sponsors products. Otherwise nothing changes. Tired of sideshow issues dominating the league. Years of this. No end in sight.


    What you really need to do is stop posting on sites like this and stop reading them because they are the true ringmasters of this circus.

    The media, such as this site, know how popular the NFL is and realize that people will read whatever drivel they post because the NFL is that popular.

    To that end we have been subjected to at least 10 articles on this site alone in the last 24 hours about Goodell and he video tape, many of dubious news value but all designed to maximize the outrage (and therefore posts and eyeballs).

  21. I’m betting Old Rog is spending most (if not all) of his time hunting for a scapegoat for this whole thing. Somebody willing to fall on his or her sword to protect the Office of the Commissioner and save his hide.

  22. And if we can be sure of anything, Goodell hiring his lawyer to investigate himself and appointing two of his buddies to oversee said lawyer means there’s a REAL chance of this report saying Goodell lied, lol. Whitewash coverup.

  23. ‘Peter King of talked to at least two owners, and there’s still a general sense of support for Goodell.’


    And therein lies the problem. I believe the owners made a HUGE mistake by not ending this PR nightmare yesterday by firing Goodell after the AP news report went out. If the ultimate goal is to truly to protect the shield then the owners have failed by hiring Mueller to conduct an ‘independent’ & lengthy investigation. If you want to kill a snake you need to cut off the head & the owners didn’t do it.

    Bottom line–Was the tape delivered to the NFL or not? The NFL says no & the AP says yes. I find it extremely difficult to believe that the AP would run w/ this story unless they were 100% positive it was true . So if the tape was delivered–regardless of whether Goodell saw it–now the NFL’s security department & other NFL executives are lying which is makes it worse. In short–the NFL’s credibility will be damaged even further than Goodell if the tape was delivered.

    BTW–Aside from this incident I don’t see why Goodell ever had absolute power in disciplining & deciding punishments for the players. At the very least he needs to relinquish this authority & let others at the NFL handle this & at the most he needs to be fired & the next Commissioner’s power needs to be scaled back. The fans & players are tired of a dictatorship.

  24. TMZ is not 60 minutes sure they do uncover things by dealing with the devil, but let’s see them for what they are. The National Inquirer on video.

  25. The Steelers are Marching. 7 rings. SFL 2015: restoring the game we created. says: Sep 11, 2014 1:14 PM

    Goodell needs to be the first of many to go. We have, in front of us, an opportunity to purge the league of its recent taint. We need to restore this game to our respected principles. This is a prime opportunity to take back our game. Don’t relent! Remember tackling? Remember when you could touch QBs and WRs? What have we become? Never mind that, what are we going to do about it?!

    The Steelers,

    I couldn’t agree more. I wanted Goodell gone LONG before this situation. He’s an arrogant pig who is ruining the sport for short term profits.

  26. That he has made them all a pile of money is one reason Goodell is still widely believed to be safe in his job.
    Goodell made them a pile of money?? Tagliabue did a way better job of keeping the NFL squeaky clean. The NFL is making mad money now because of the internet and more games on TV in general compared to the past, not because of this Goofball..

  27. So, the owners, for whom Roger is virtually printing money, are going to directly oversee the “independent investigation”, brought about only under intense public scrutiny. Doesn’t that defeat the very purpose of the whole “independent” part of the deal? The arrogance and narcissism of those with money, power and influence never ceases to amaze me.

    Hey owners…here’s an idea. Rather than go through the whole smoke and mirror show, just say you’re gonna do whatever the hell you want and you don’t really care what I think because I’ll still watch. I’d respect you a whole lot more.

  28. If we are stuck with Goodell, then you might as well bring in Vince McMahon. Seriously. Separated at birth these two…

  29. First the Redskins, now the Ray Rice scandal are sucking the oxygen out of any discussion of football on the internet. I miss football.

  30. Good grief. Why aren’t we placing blame where blame belongs? Squarely in the hands of the perp. And if you really want to spread blame beyond Ray Rice then we should be spreading it across every corporation in the world, both public and private. Every public institution. Every person that ever shed violence against another person. Because this isn’t a one entity caused issue. It is an entire society that caused it. And it’s an issue that has been before us for as long as humans have walked this earth.

    The only blame that even remotely belongs in the hands of the NFL is their policy of not suspending a player until an investigation is done by the league any time there is an accusation of a player violating the personal conduct policy. THAT is a bad policy.

    Rather the NFL should have a policy of immediate suspension any time a player is arrested and charged with a felony, regardless of what that felony charge is for, and regardless of what the eventual outcome is.

    If they want to protect their brand their policy should be one of immediate suspension until the case is resolved through legitimate legal recourse. Let the police investigate the issue not the NFL.

    They should not be anywhere near the investigation. We have properly trained authorities in this country to handle these situations and no employer in the world should have their nose into a police matter until the authorities resolve it. It was stupid and ignorant of the NFL to have a policy that allows things to get where they are now.

  31. How has John Mara got his nose in everything? Why in the world would an NFL owner be overseeing an ” independent+ investigation? They are so arrogant they aren’t even trying to hide the cheating any longer.

  32. So 1 of at least 2 back him. The others are investigating him and one was ditched by him at his award ceremony and ended up crying on stage because of the very issue we are talking about.

  33. Sponsors aren’t going anywhere unless they’re afraid you will and or you’ll hold it against them for sponsoring the NFL games. How many of you are to the point you’ll refuse to watch your favorite team play due to any of this? Will you refuse to drink a particular beer or eat a particular chip due to the sponsoring of an NFL product? I’m certainly not at that point. Just making a point.

  34. Goodell will be gone, the media has this now and will not relent they want Goodell gone, it makes for a good story. He deserves it he is a total fool. Furthermore Biscotti more or less said he covered for rice because he loved him. He should have to sell the team. He saw the video, Rice hit her with deadly force wether or not she was coming at him. He is a pro athlete and is I would assume alot stronger than her.

  35. The NFL has long played down the violence and criminal behavior by its players to protect their image.

    The Rice video shows the types of things they’ve been largely ignoring and covering up for years to keep the money train rolling.

  36. To trumb1mj: Hardy is playing because he hasn’t been found guilty in a jury trial. The district court verdict means nothing…’s the way things are handled in NC.
    So why isn’t Aaron Hernandez playing for the Patriots?
    Not only hasn’t he been found guilty by a jury, he wasn’t even found guilty by a judge (unlike Hardy).

    BTW, I understand allegations of domestic assault and battery are not nearly as serious as allegations of murdering 2 people, but I don’t think anybody would have criticized Carolina if they had at least done something to Hardy.

  37. If Goodell is to be held to at least the same standard to which he holds NFL players, he needs to resign.

    Goodell has come across as arrogant from the day he stepped into the role of NFL commissioner. Now, he’s the one who needs to provide answers, and he has nothing but excuses.

    To quote Goodell about Bill Belichick and spygate: “I didn’t believe his explanation the first time I heard, and I don’t believe it now”. That’s exactly how most of us feel about Goodell’s mishandling of this entire episode.

  38. I see theres a large host of Goodell apologists here, kind of makes you wonder….

    Anyhow, if Jerry Richardson is firmly in Goodell’s corner, he looked mighty shaky giving that award speech.

    Its pretty obvious fans need to step up here. Nobody is not going to watch the games, but we can certainly stop buying NFL merchandise (look at the Redskins latest merch sales), as well as not buy the products of sponsors.

    When the cash flow slows….the Commissioner will go!

  39. It’s really not much of a cover up. He screwed up a suspension. If he saw the video and suspended 2 games, he still screwed up the suspension. to me that’s the bottom line.

    The video is awful, but the assault was already awful when it occured and when it was described in words. 2 games was a horrendous mistake.

    I don’t think suspending someone for too few games one time (as he has usually been too hard on players) should get Goodell fired.

    The lie could get him fired if he’s caught, but it doesn’t really change anything about the incident and how it was handled.

  40. Couple of “I wonders” …

    wonder if Ray’s initial suspension was 6 games…
    would this have blown over?

    wonder if anyone cares that this is ruining Janay Rice’s life perhaps more than the incident?

    wonder if Roger could have burned this tape…
    would he have?

    just wonderin

  41. What a joke the Mueller investigation is going to be…aaahhh, eeeerrrr….

    I mean, what a joke the NFL’s “independent” investigation is going to be !!!

    The two guys who are “overseeing” the investigation …Giants owner John Mara and Steelers owner Art Rooney…they are already on record as being Goodell supporters.

    For Heavens Sake, NFL, at least have an investigation that has the appearance of being fair and honest…and oh yea, “independent” !

  42. Even over at MMQB, King’s normally loyal readers are criticizing his biased support of Goodell with his ‘puff pieces’ quoting anonymous owners. I think the public is getting fed up with sports writers use of anonymous sources to build their daily articles around. People will lie if they are not on the record.

  43. jxt2521 is right on.

    Can we please not forget that the only person who has committed a crime is Ray Rice. He has been more punished by the NFL than the justice system. The organization that should be under fire is the NJ justice system not the NFL. Please stop making this about Roger Goodell. He is an employer not the legal system. The evidence is clear, I care more about the other criminals that are currently wearing NFL uniforms than if the NFL dropped the ball on one case then corrected themselves later.

    Can stop the which hunt and get back to FOOTBALL!

  44. Selecting Mueller as the independent investigator was intended to mollify the critics but as Florio points out now paints the scandal with yet another layer of stink. Congress will now surely dive in and the “support of the owners” will no longer be the most important factor.

  45. Nothing’s going to change, nobody’s going to stop watching football. All this manufactured outrage is just another way for the masses to entertain themselves. KFTC fellas.

  46. Fortunately, Goodell works for the owners, not the self-righteous angry mob.

    But if the rich liberal NBA owners were willing to sacrifice one of their own, I don’t see why the rich liberal NFL owners wouldn’t do the same.

    Another victory for the angry mob?

  47. I thought that there was no way that these numb-nuts could kill the golden goose that is the fan appeal of NFL football but Goodell is trying his best. Time to move on. Condi Rice for Commis? Try having some greasy hair lawyer try to imply to HER that a tiny woman brought on her own beating by a 200 lb. plus professional athlete as a result of her behavior.

  48. As a season ticket owner my wife will decide weather we renew after this so called independent investigation goes. Mr Kraft please make the right decision . I know Mira would say

  49. I think Goodell is just as bad as the next person but Goodell’s only fault in this is not making the punishment hard enough the first time. The video should have ZERO effect on the punishment.

  50. the owners are biding time until the mid october meeting….THERE IS NO WAY goodell hands out the lomardi trophy in february or is at the draft in april/may….when you think about it in those terms, he’s gone

  51. You really, really need to explain how Roger Goodell made the owners a pile of money. You’re literally saying that unless Roger Goodell did, whatever he did, the NFL wouldn’t have been more profitable. That really makes no sense. The NFL popularity is due to the players, the game, & the teams, NOT Roger Goodell. Roger Goodell presided over the lockout, which would’ve gone the way it did regardless of Goodell, in my opinion. Now Goodell’s actions are massively subtracting from the league, which is why he has to go.

  52. I’m confused by what it means that Mara and Rooney are “overseeing” the independent investigation. Why is anyone overseeing it? What is the role of the overseer?

  53. I wouldn’t take that job on a bet. Everyone is a hypocrite. Every time he punishes someone, everyone jumps out of the woodwork to say he’s too hard on the player, the punishments aren’t fair, blah blah blah. But if he doesn’t, then he’s too lenient, covering up, and condoning the act. If he acts before the justice system acts, he’s not being fair. But if he waits, he’s letting the “criminal” off the hook. No matter what move he makes, the NFLPA and the players themselves will be against it. Gotta fight the “man”.


  55. My feeling still is, Roger is trying to protect the shield through all this.

    Let’s say you crash your car and admit to being drunk. Your boss (Roger) says you’re fired. Your lawyer says ‘my client is a recovering alcoholic and got drunk on the free drinks (concussions) you supplied at the office Christmas party.’

    If I’m an unethical and already sold my soul type of guy I’m telling Rice…okay… look I gotta give you something but we can work out something mutually beneficial. As long as you never whisper concussions you will get paid and I’ll see what i can do about you not spending time in jail. Deal? Deal.

  56. “I wouldn’t take that job on a bet.”

    Yeah, right.

    For 40 mil annually, not only would I take that job, unsolicited, I’d probably never leave the office.

    Put in a good 5 years and retire with around 100 mil dollars or so.

  57. Big deal he makes them money. The product sells itself. Any one of us could do the same thing if we had 5,000 lawyers telling us how to do it.

  58. Boy, you would think Roger Goodell is the one that punched his wife in the face, typical America.

  59. Wikipedia:
    Internet Pitchfork Mob
    The internet version of a torch and pitchfork mob. A group of angry people raging about a problem that rapidly gains supporters, taking over topics, comment sections and product reviews with rage posts. Tramples anyone who doesn’t agree mercilessly.

    Commonly occurs in response to controversial topics or unpopular actions by corporations and/or the government.
    ie. The game’s been broken for two days and there’s an Internet Pitchfork Mob on the forums and in the amazon reviews!
    by Laharl25 March 11, 2013

    Roger Goodel has the support of owners and the support of any reasonable football fan out there, including me. 90% of the commenter’s on here (that might not be right actually, because this site deletes most of the comments that disagree with them) are like blind sheep hopping on this media fueled band wagon.
    Ray Rice is the criminal. Roger Goodell, at worst, used bad judgement in the punishment of a player. The same player the criminal system failed to punish, wife refused to hold accountable, etc.

  60. Roger “has been great for the league” statement by this anonymous owner is all about the Benjamins. Goodell has simply raised prices on the brand across the board from tv, licenses, tickets, merchandise, etc.

    Fans and players don’t like him for what he has to to the actual game of football. Period.

    Owners will free continued pressure from players, fans, and groups such as NOW and they should.

    Sad reality is that they will not act until the bottom line is hurt. What a shame.

    I am a football fan for 36 plus years and can honestly say the game is diluted and getting hard to watch and I am tired with ten constant drama of the league.

  61. San Francisco PD needs to take a look at NJ ‘s poor handling of the Rice case. I can see them dragging this thing until the season is over. No 6 games suspension. This is why the NFL and law enforcement are under fire. Typically, law enforcement should do it’s thing, then NFL conduct policy should kick in.

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