NFL goes mum about Jones vs. Goodell

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The NFL’s Compensation Committee reportedly has told Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to knock it off regarding his ongoing resistance to Commissioner Roger Goodell’s contract extension. Jones has said he won’t. So what happens next?

The NFL isn’t saying. During a Tuesday media briefing, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart made it clear that the league won’t be saying anything at all about the situation.

Lockhart did address one of the topics posed to him on the issue. Asked by Jim Trotter of to explain the reasons for finalizing Goodell’s extension when 18 months remain on the current deal, Lockhart said that finalizing an extension that carries Goodell beyond the expiring labor deal in 2020 and expiring network TV deals in 2021 and 2022 “was in the best interest” of the league. While that may indeed be accurate, the sparking of a very public fight between Jones and the members of the Compensation Committee can’t be in the best interests of the league.

The problem traces to the decision of the NFL’s owners to vote unanimously in May to grant full authority to the Compensation Committee to negotiate and to execute a contract with Goodell, within certain defined parameters. If the league had instead directed them to negotiate a proposed contract that would then be presented to the owners for approval, the owners would have cast votes with full information as to what the package entails, with no further discussion or sweetening of the pot.

Asked why the NFL opted for the former approach on Tuesday, Lockhart cited the collective “wisdom” of the owners. (He wasn’t being sarcastic. I think.)

Right or wrong, Jones apparently believes (accurately or not) that the Compensation Committee is trying to exceed its mandate. Or he simply has changed his mind about the parameters provided to the Compensation Committee in May.

Whatever the explanation, the league believes that the current status quo allows the Compensation Committee to proceed. The league nevertheless fears what may done to disrupt the status quo, via something other than a new vote of the owners. As reported earlier this week by Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal, outside counsel Brad Carp recently advised the members of the Compensation Committee “not to communicate with Mr. Jones regarding the negotiations of commissioner Goodell’s employment contract or any other subject addressed by the resolution” because “[a]ny such communication, even if well intended, could be used by Mr. Jones’ attorneys against the league or against you individually and may compromise our defense against any such litigation.”

The best solution at this point could be for the owners to decide at the December meeting to amend the Compensation Committee’s authority to require approval of the final terms before they indeed become final. This seems like a fair and reasonable approach aimed at ensuring that at least 24 owners agree with the terms to which the Compensation Committee and the Commissioner have agreed.

Meanwhile, it’s important to remember that the current lack of an agreement means that the Commissioner has yet to accept whatever terms the Compensation Committee has offered to date. If he had, there would be a deal. The fact that there isn’t suggests that Jones may not be the only person driving a hard bargain here.

41 responses to “NFL goes mum about Jones vs. Goodell

  1. The NFL is taking the high road and they are going to watch Jones hang himself. There is no recovery for Jones in the eyes of the owners or players.

  2. Lockhart was more trustworthy and transparent back when he was fronting for America’s favorite predator Bill Clinton.

  3. “Meanwhile, it’s important to remember that the current lack of an agreement means that the Commissioner has yet to accept whatever terms the Compensation Committee has offered to date. If he had, there would be a deal. The fact that there isn’t suggests that Jones may not be the only person driving a hard bargain here.”

    It will be lost in the wash of Jones this/Goodell that but that last paragraph deserves some serious consideration. 6 months after being given authorization to do a deal to extend a contract there still isn’t one in place. There are 6 members of the compensation committee, at least 2 of them have good reasons why they’d be happy to see Roger take a haircut at the very least.

  4. Jones has made HIS team the MOST VALUABLE FRANCHISE IN SPORTS! AND has put TONS of duckets in the owners pockets!
    Jones is “THE” Ultimate business man and football IS a bizzness. Tread careful my friends.
    Jones IS RIGHT BTW! Like him OR NOT… HE IS RIGHT!

  5. All under the assumption Jones really cares about the issue. The 1/32 of the additional cost of Goddells contract isn’t the issue here, it’s Jones trying to spite the NFL for the Elliot case and nothing more. This is just the easiest and most convenient cover story.

  6. Jones is a ruthless billionaire unaccustomed to losing any battle in the board room. The very fact that goodell went toe to toe, judge to judge, and court to court with him and won has him seething over elliott. His hubris won’t even let him think straight

  7. Perhaps Jerry Jones and Roger Goodell orchestrated this “feud” to take our eyes off the National Anthem controversy. We are all talking about Jones v. Goodell instead of “inmates running the prison.”
    Florio is right: these billionaires are used to getting their way.

  8. Someone, anyone, tell us why Goodell is the only person in the good old USA available to be a commissioner of the NFL?

    Here are some reasons why the NFL should make a change and not renew Goodell as commissioner.

    1. Goodell’s arrogant public persona;
    2. his very public screw ups;
    3. all these fill-in-the blank “Gates”;
    4. his ego driven disciplinary actions bolstered by the lopsided CBA power structure;
    5. declining viewership;
    6. the fact that TV money was negotiated by a Kraft led committee;
    7. most merchandise sales are marketed by the teams and NFL takes a cut;
    8. the disgraceful way he ignored the kneeling protests just hoping it would stop on its own;
    9. his favorable bias toward local NY teams;
    10. his alienation of fan bases in New England, New Orleans, Miami, Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, Oakland, San Diego, St Louis;
    11. the fact he already swindled more than $200 million from the owners;
    12. Now he wants a private jet for life

    Now compare him to other NFL commissioners Rozell and Tagliabue.

    Time for a change!

  9. You don’t have to be a fan of Jones to see the obvious that Goodell is bad for the NFL. HE causes more problems than he solves. In fact I cant think of any problem he solved, just ones he created.

  10. Prediction, Jerry will up the ante on Goodell, he will call his buddy, Donald Trump and tell him to write out a tweet about the NFL or Roger Goodell. It won’t be pretty, but do just about anything to stop this Goodell extension.

  11. How can anyone endorse a 50 million Goodell salary?, And life time private jet usage, and lifetime medical care for his entire family. His job performance is inept at best, and he has screwed up everything he touched.

  12. Just a few facts and one observation about the Not For Long (NFL) business model.

    Exhibit A: twelve NFL teams have turned a profit on stadium construction subsidies paid for by taxpayers. Those twelve NFL teams received more money than they needed to build their facilities.

    Exhibit B: At the basic property-tax rate of Arlington, Texas, where the Cowboy’s AT&T stadium is located, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would owe at least $6 million a year in property taxes. Instead he receives no property-tax bill, so Tarrant County taxes the property of average people more than it otherwise would.

    Exhibit C: The NFL has been hiding the CTE effects of football concussions like the Tobacco Industry hid the harmful effects of its product.

    Exhibit D: The NFL has all the trappings of a political mafia, with former Clinton Aide Joe Lockhart running communications, Roger Goodell as the God Father, and the billionaire owners as rivaling families in the Cosa Nostra: all that is missing is Luciano Leggio and the Corleone clan.

  13. Talk about your first world problems. They’ve each enriched the other by obscene amounts of money and now are turning on each other like a couple of Orange County housewives. If there were ever a situation where I wish both sides could lose, this is it.

  14. The Full 32 are buffoons for allowing a commissioner of their league to become the face of their sport. Week in, week out, NFL headlines have nothing to do with the contests on the field. Instead, Goodell owns the headlines as he battles players in court, manipulates cities and taxpayers, defies the league’s bread and butter patrons……while demanding a salary twice as much as the highest paid player. The NFL has only one star and he is universally despised.

  15. Jones agreed to it back in May. So he made his bed he needs to sleep in it. I see a lot of posts about players complaining about the CBA and the spouse is to “shut up and play, you voted for it.”

    Well Jerry voted in May to let other people handle this negotiation. He has no one to blame but himself.

  16. Cali, yes, football is a business. And yes, Jerry Jones is an outstanding businessman. However, he is not the first or last outstanding leader who has made a catastrophic comments that make past accomplishments dim. As it stands now, Jerry has turned America’s team into America’s assault team. He has chosen game day performance and greed over the truth and has disrespected every single victim of domestic violence.

  17. Fraudger: Shieldwall! Media scrutiny must never break our ranks!
    HQ: But Commissioner, we’ve no integrity in any of our lines! We must not engage!
    Fraudger: Don’t worry, I’m determined the media will get no intelligence from my words.

  18. I find it funny, the leagues Devil no longer has need for the Devils helper. So it’s off to the Pit of Misery, Dilly, Dilly.

  19. In the best interest of the nfl? Madam, it would be in the best interest of yourself and all the other Goodell cronies, because when the contract expires, they are all out on their ass. New comish, new league office personal, I am loving the sound of that.

  20. Jerruh’s the head barker at the circus. Put him outside the tent and let him talk people into it. By no means does that mean you should let him run it. Let him design a new jersey to sell and shut up about the rest.

  21. limakey says:
    November 14, 2017 at 9:37 pm
    The NFL is taking the high road and they are going to watch Jones hang himself. There is no recovery for Jones in the eyes of the owners or players.

    So you think Goodell has done such a great job that he deserves a $19 million raise, private jet use for life AND health insurance for his family for life? Lets highlight his accomplishments:

    – Ray Rice investigation
    – Bountygate
    – Deflategate
    – Elliott Investigation
    – Suspensions of high profile players based on zero evidence
    – Rules that fans dont understand (do we know what a catch is)
    – Declining ratings
    – Protest
    – Angry fans
    – Court hearings
    – Injuctions
    – Temporary restraining orders
    – Abuse of Article 46

    Yeah….those are really great things for the league, he should be proud of how healthy things are! Jerry is just doing what needs to be done, even if its for the wrong reasons.

  22. Sweet, Ray Rice he got it right by getting it wrong. Adopted new rule that organizations have to turn over all the evidence they have. Always said he got it wrong and was going to fix it. Which is why Elliott is a 100 percent guilty.

  23. Bountygate – Saints were guilty. Changed the rule that bounties and such can no longer be hidden under a team fine. That players and coaches will be held accountable. What is wrong with that?

  24. Declining TV ratings, they have always known that was coming. There are more ways then one to follow a game live than on TV. That is why they are exploring streaming and other ways.

  25. The Protests Goodell did the right thing and let the owners make the call. And let’s be fair, had he “made” the players stand, you would have been more outraged. There is so much hatered towards him that not a single Goodell rant makes sense. No logic or reason, just hate.

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