Two years ago, the NFL aggressively defended the ability of Commissioner Roger Goodell to handle the appeal of the suspensions he imposed on the Saints players accused of participating in Gregg Williams’ bounty program. Eventually, Goodell handed the baton to former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Who overturned the suspensions.
Now, the league won’t be fighting for Goodell’s right to run the Ray Rice appeal party. According to the league office, Goodell “never intended” to handle Rice’s appeal.
This means that Goodell will grant the NFLPA’s request that he recuse himself from the appeal. Which means that someone else will handle it.
Ultimately, Goodell has the right to designate a hearing officer. For now, a decision hasn’t been made.
It could be someone from the league office. But the NFLPA has asked for a truly independent arbitrator.
Maybe it should be Tagliabue again.