Falcons owner says it might be time to look at commissioner’s power

AP

In the wake of today’s Tom Brady ruling, many of the questions that remain surround how the NFL moves forward, and with whom at the helm of its discipline.

And at least one owner seems willing to consider that the best person for that job might not be commissioner Roger Goodell.

According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Falcons owner Arthur Blank admitted that Thursday’s ruling by Judge Richard Berman vacating Brady’s suspension was bad for the league.

It’s not healthy for the NFL to be in the kind of litigious position that it’s been for last several years,” Blank said. “I think that the commissioner is working hard to hold up the respect and integrity of the game, the competitive balance of the game and the shield. Having said that, I think we have to find ways to get to a better place sooner with the NFLPA than the process that we’ve gone through.”

Even if that means something other than Goodell having final say.

“This Deflategate thing which isn’t about Deflategate any longer, it’s about what has been collectively negotiated for decades in terms of the commissioner’s responsibility in terms of disciplining players,” Blank said. “If we have to look at that differently in today’s light, in today’s environment, as an ownership group we should be prepared to do that. The commissioner should be prepared to do that.”

And while the league retains the right to appeal the ruling, Blank sounded like many fans who just want the matter put to rest.

“I would have rather seen it end with a positive ruling for the NFL,” Blank said. “I understand why the commissioner and the league feel as strongly as it does about trying to protect the rights that for decades have been collectively bargained. I think that is important.

“I don’t think they should be re-bargained in a federal court. Having said that, I think the commissioner and the ownership around the league have to be prepared to look at things, look at change and change may be appropriate.”

While there is a general sense that Goodell has the support of many owners, few have spoken out in the wake of today’s ruling. And without more of them talking, it’s impossible to know if Blank (who chairs the committee of owners who determine how much Goodell is paid) is an outlier or a prophet.

53 responses to “Falcons owner says it might be time to look at commissioner’s power

  1. How much of the league’s (aka the owners’) money was wasted on parasite lawyers in a sloppy persecution and prosecution of Brady, which a federal judge excoriated?

    Goodell, Pash, Gardi, Kensil, et al., should be out on their collective rear ends.

  2. The first domino falls.

    This was never about Brady and deflated footballs. It was about the Commish and his power. The Ray Rice case was a disaster and Goodell tried to save face by punishing Brady for “the integrity of the game.”

    Goodell got the well deserved egg on his face. All the owners need to realize the GAME is more important than the commish, the owners and everyone else involved. Some great men in the past laid the foundation for this game to prosper – the sharing of revenues so small market teams can compete to build a great league and not just a couple of haves and most have nots.

    I hope the owners do more than just limit the power of Roger Goodell. I hope that he is gone at the end of this year.

  3. File under losing changes everything. The truest words spoken in this whole debacle by anyone from the league/ownership side :

    This Deflategate thing which isn’t about Deflategate any longer, it’s about what has been collectively negotiated for decades in terms of the commissioner’s responsibility in terms of disciplining players,”

    Any reasonably intelligent human being could see this was about the CBA, not air in footballs

  4. Frame-gate is less about the NFL commissioner using his authority and more about him mis-using his authority.

    He decided the Patriots/Tom Brady were guilty, and then he ensured the evidence was created to conform to his decision. Then he enlisted the services of a kangaroo court, complete with paid off investigators and prosecutors to establish the guilt of the Patriots/Tom Brady.

    Roger Goodell completely misused his authority, and the NFL is suffering for his ‘incompetence’ (and by incompetence I mean almost certain criminal malfeasance).

  5. First we had Jed York of the 49ers re-tweeting a similar message from Jonathan Kraft. In the tightly knit old-boys club that was pretty significant in that it signaled that not everyone was behind the Idiot Goodell. Art Blank’s statement is a direct shot at Goodell and would make me think that behind the scenes the owners are livid at Goodell. It will be interesting to see if any other owners make public statements in the next week or so – once it becomes clear that Goodell no longer has the unconditional backing of the owners things will really get interesting.

  6. it seems there are only 32 people who actually think Roger Goodell is doing good for the NFL.
    Reading Blanks statements, he talks about how he thinks Goodell is doing good for the league, the integrity and upholding the shield… what is he smoking?
    Since Goodell has been commissioner, it’s been a complete PR nightmare for the NFL.
    He’s gotta have pictures against several owners…

  7. Tom and Orenthal have both found that you can commit a crime and with the help of high priced legal help avoid doing the time

  8. billswillnevermove says:
    Sep 3, 2015 9:08 PM
    We wouldn’t be in this situation if the Patriots had not been cheating since 2001. This dirty organization should be suspended from the NFL for a year.
    =================================
    The Bills should be in Toronto. At least the fans there are smart enough not to drink the water.

  9. Its time to give Goodell, Kensil, pash, Nash, Vincent, Aiello, Blandino, Gardi a nice kick out the door and demand their entire salary be re-collected and given to charity.

    You know how they love to fine players.

    When do these scumbags get charged with conduct detrimental to the NFL. If anyone has tarnished the NFL its the above scumbags and any owner that supported Goodell i.e. McNair, Irsay, Jones, Mara etc.

  10. Discipline Committee

    I’ve been saying this for a while now. Get an odd number of qualified people dedicated to dealing with infractions from ALL personnel representing the shield; including owners and the commissioner. This group will be free from influence from anyone not a part of the group; including owners and the commissioner.

  11. ssraebel says:

    The first domino falls.

    ————————————————————

    Reaching much.

    Blank loves him some Goodell. He got a slap on the wrist for some pretty egregious behaviour and continues to fill his vaults with cash, as do the other 31 owners.

    They don’t want Goodell going anywhere. He’s the guy taking the flak while they count their money. He is perfect for them.

  12. First, Brady is likely guilty, but the way it was handled by the commish and the NFL was horrible.

    This whole thing was not about footballs, it was about the CBA, and it was about the commish trying to wield his power.

    RG got away with whatever he wanted for a wile, and it got to his head. Then he choked the Ray Rice issue, so he tried to hammer the most well known and most popular player in the league with shaky evidence, and he got called on it.

    I find it entirely plausible that a group of 32 billionaires didn’t exactly like the NFL being dragged into a highly public legal battle and then got it handed to them.

  13. Let DeMaurice Smith and Roger decide discipline together and when Smith decides not to punish for domestic abuse, have Maurice stand in front of America and defend his position. That is when he’ll know what he has to do and people are responsible for their actions. He doesn’t have to do that now, so he can be behind the scenes second-guessing.

    I have no problem where both sides sit down and agree on a conclusion, no way to point fingers then. Makes Rogers job a lot easier, not all on him.

  14. It’s interesting that Blank says that he doesn’t want the CBA being re-defined by courts. But really, whose fault is that? If Goodell ignores the CBA to discipline players, they are going to go to court and they are going to win. Blank’s partial revelation is a step forward, but the owners really have to get a clue about how bad Goodell has become.

  15. These owners don’t get it. Yes things were collectively bargained. Goodell doesn’t understand what was and what was not bargained. That and he’s a liar.

  16. “It’s not healthy for the NFL to be in the kind of litigious position that it’s been for last several years”

    ————————

    This is key… Goodell is far too litigious and it makes everyone else litigious too. It’s going to kill the league eventually if it becomes only a soap opera and not a sport.

  17. I haven’t seen the obvious written – Goodell rushed to submit the appeal today before any groundswell could start among owners not to appeal. I don’t think this will make some very happy.

  18. Of course the guy who just got penalized by the man for pumping in noise, speaks out to say that the guy who handed out his punishment may have too much power. Hmmm.

  19. Of course the guy who just got penalized by the man for pumping in noise, speaks out to say that the guy who handed out his punishment may have too much power. Hmmm..

  20. Goodell is toast. He is spending too much money in the courts AND losing.
    There should be a discipline committee with a chairperson without an agenda. Then, the commish can focus on making money, and keeping his owners happy.

  21. ftblfan9 says:
    Sep 3, 2015 11:46 PM

    I haven’t seen the obvious written – Goodell rushed to submit the appeal today before any groundswell could start among owners not to appeal. I don’t think this will make some very happy.
    ———————————————————-

    Hmmmm…. Isn’t that what he did after the decision to uphold Brady’s suspension. Filing in NY before the NFLPA could file in Minnesota. How’d that work out?

    Goodell will never learn….. Get him outa here.

  22. 31 owners may HATE bob kraft (as the past 8 months make clear), they probably also hate losing in court and being exposed as a petty, jealous collection of small minds.

  23. Stop saying “protect the rights that for decades have been collectively bargained”…You didn’t collectively bargain putting an idiot in the Commissioners chair. When you had reasonable people in charge this was never an issue. Don’t make it like the players are trying to re-write the rules.

  24. Greatest 4th quarter comeback in nfl history. That’s all you need to know about Tom brady
    ==========================
    Just because the judge ruled against the NFL doesn’t mean that Brady didn’t cheat… He got off because the NFL bungled the investigation not because he is innocent… He basically got off on a technicality… #bradydestroysphone

  25. It doesn’t matter who is giving the punishment for these players suspect behavior – they are going to be crying, whining and complaining.

    These imbeciles should look in the mirror at their OWN behavior. Their OWN behavior is forcing Goodells hand.

    Peterson. Brady. Rice. Hardy. Tank johnson. Pacman jones. And the list goes on and on and on and on and on.

  26. It is so laughable that Goodell says the NFL filed the appeal to “protect the integrity of the game,” when this clown is doing everything he can to DESTROY the integrity of the game. His bumbling handling of these cases has resulted in FIVE losses in court in a row. 0 for FIVE in court! How is THAT “protecting the integrity of the game?” By making such stupid decisions he’s lost every time he’s been dragged into court. Does that not prove to these owners that they have the wrong guy in charge of THEIR League? EVERY decision he’s made that caused the League to be dragged into court this clown has LOST! The inconsistent manner in which he hands out penalties to players alone SHOULD be enough to get him fired in order “to protect the integrity of the game!” What a laughingstock. Worst commissioner we’ve ever had in ANY sport! REMOVE THIS IDIOT NOW!!!

  27. whispersd says:
    Sep 3, 2015 10:30 PM

    It’s interesting that Blank says that he doesn’t want the CBA being re-defined by courts. But really, whose fault is that? If Goodell ignores the CBA to discipline players, they are going to go to court and they are going to win. Blank’s partial revelation is a step forward, but the owners really have to get a clue about how bad Goodell has become.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Exactly!

    As evidenced by the list of NFLPA’s complaints that were not yet explored in final few paragraphs of Judge Berman’s decision, if the league wins this appeal, when the case is sent back to Berman for reconsideration, those areas that were not explored and ruled on in this first round will become fair game. And part of that is the legality of having any league commissioner acting as arbiter of his own prior punishment decisions (regardless of how fairly he appears to have done so) because it is inherently a conflict of interests that makes impartiality impossible.

    In other words, an appeal may make it possible for for the court to permanently over rule the CBA as being intrinsically illegal. In this decision he only said that Goodell and the league acted improperly this time around. He did not explore whether the commissioner could ever act impartially.

  28. “the commissioner is working hard to hold up the competitive balance of the game”

    Yep. Forget about integrity. This was about busting the Patriots balls and bringing them down to a level where teams like his can compete with them. At least the owners thru Goodell were able to steal some draft picks.

  29. We wouldn’t be in this situation if the Patriots had not been cheating since 2001. This dirty organization should be suspended from the NFL for a year.
    =================================
    List all the cheating they’ve done since 2001…okay Spygate, then…um, uh, oh. Oh, and Spygate lasted one quarter (it was the first game that it was illegal) and it involved legally taping signals from an area of the field that was not authorized. Oh, I’m sorry, they confused poor Harbaugh and he got his cronies to make that illegal after the fact. The Pats better not run a draw play, a play action pass or a reverse next year or the losing, whining coaches of the NFL will have those banned too.

  30. While I generally agreed with Goodell on his disciplinary hearings I think these two high-profile ones (Ray Rice and Tom Brady) portrays him more like a clown. How bad can one person botch these two situations.

    The Ray Rice thing was ridiculous. First one suspension then when the video comes out and he ends up with egg on his face he decides to impose another suspension which was (rightly so) overturned in court.

    Then there’s the Brady incident. Like the judge said, the biggest problem with this is his ‘independent’ investigation. What a joke. When you bring someone in who has any sort of connection with you how can it be independent?

    I think Goodell has to go and they need to work together with the NFLPA to get a disciplinary system that is collectively bargained and is more fair than the current process.

  31. jredshoes says:
    Sep 3, 2015 9:14 PM
    Tom and Orenthal have both found that you can commit a crime and with the help of high priced legal help avoid doing the time
    _____________________
    Equating a double-homicide to a little air in a football.

    Sounds like a rational correlation.

  32. billswillnevermove says:
    Sep 3, 2015 9:08 PM
    We wouldn’t be in this situation if the Patriots had not been cheating since 2001. This dirty organization should be suspended from the NFL for a year.

    —————

    Translation: “The Patriots have been pounding my Bills since 2001. Brady has beat then 23 times already with another defeat coming in just 2 weeks. I was counting on Roger to suspend Brady to at least give my team a fighting chance”

  33. sb44champs says:
    Sep 4, 2015 8:27 AM
    Greatest 4th quarter comeback in nfl history. That’s all you need to know about Tom brady
    ==========================
    Just because the judge ruled against the NFL doesn’t mean that Brady didn’t cheat… He got off because the NFL bungled the investigation not because he is innocent… He basically got off on a technicality… #bradydestroysphone

    —————-

    Sure, except there is zero evidence that any cheating actually occurred. Unless of course one wants to ignore science, Walt Anderson’s memory and assume that Brady ordered to idiots to remove 0.2PSI from each football.

    Oh, and then there is the fact that the league itself admitted to Judge Berman that there is zero evidence that Brady did anything whatsoever.

    But sure…..you could be right.

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