NFL: Jones punishment isn’t a fine, it’s reimbursement for legal fees

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The failing New York Times has apparently written an inaccurate story about Commissioner Roger Goodell fining Cowboys owner Jerry Jones multiple millions of dollars. Sad!

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports (i.e., the NFL announces) that Jones will be required to pay $2 million in reimbursement for legal fees, not as a fine for conduct detrimental to the league. (Rapoport’s report came after he initially confirmed/corroborated the notion that Jones will be fined.)

The report from Ken Belson of the New York Times mentioned the issue of reimbursement for fees, but the article plainly stated that Goodell will fine Jones “millions of dollars” by declaring that Jones’ conduct was “detrimental to the league.”

Belson’s article separately mentions that Jones will be required to pay the legal fees incurred by the NFL, both from the threat of litigation Jones made in connection with the extension of Goodell’s contract and, surprisingly, in connection with the NFL’s defense of the decision to suspend Ezekiel Elliott. This means that the league has decided to take the position that Jones and/or his team had sufficient involvement in the effort to defeat the suspension to justify a request for reimbursement of fees.

Whether Jones has a viable defense to the effort, or a mechanism for pursuing it, remains to be seen. Either way, it appears the he won’t be getting fined, but that he’ll still be forking over plenty of money to the league as a result of his effort to derail two of 345 Park Avenue’s the major agenda items from 2017.

42 responses to “NFL: Jones punishment isn’t a fine, it’s reimbursement for legal fees

  1. If I had it to do all over again, I’d become an NFL lawyer. It’s like a license to print money. Even more so since Goodell ascended to the throne.

  2. There is no way Jerry just rolls over and takes this. He’s gonna fight like a fat man at a cake sale. Should be interesting.

  3. So, Roger is going to claim they spent $2 million simply discussing what they might do IF Jones actually did sue them? If I were Jerry the first thing I’d demand is an itemized bill. Even by big-time law firm standards that is a huge bill to have run up when NOTHING ever went to court.

  4. It’s all in presentation. You aren’t being fined, you are contributing to the league’s legal fund. They are just dressing it up for the rubes to avoid the negative press that comes with “conduct detrimental” being in the headlines.

    Remember when we used to have “used cars”? Now we have “pre-owned cars” and they are so much better than used cars. Custodians vs janitors, secretaries vs administrative assistants, etc.

    It’s all marketing.

  5. So does the 2 Mil go back into the league pot or do the 31 other owners each get a fat check of $64.5k, courtesy of Mr. Wonderful, Jeruh Jones?

  6. The times tout there increased subscriber base while telling you to pay no attention to the 30 million dollar quarterly loss behind the curtain. They suck at news.

  7. The league has no authority to require Jones to pay anything, except by way of a fine. Let them sue Jones to recover their legal fees. “He made us waste money on needless legal fees and litigation, so in response we’re… uh…”

  8. I would like to know how the NFL incurs 2 million dollars in legal fees? I guarantee Jones does too.

    Sounds fishy and I’m betting Jones, his lawyers and accountants, will want to see an itemized bill.

    I’d pay an extra 20 grand or whatever to force them to prove a 2 million dollar bill, since 20K is a drop in the bucket to him.

  9. So Roger Goodell spent $2M on legal fees to have someone else tell him how to do his job? Sounds about right. This is exactly why Jones was arguing that the league office is a cadre of thieves.

  10. The owners should also demand reimbursement from the league for all the millions in legal costs the league wasted on the fraud also known as “deflategate”. THAT sham cost the owners more than what they will get back from Jerry.

  11. “But several owners have pushed the NFL office to fine Jones, who they believe “crossed an unspoken boundary by threatening his colleagues.””

    Gee, when one reads this sentence, it sure sounds like the NFL owners thought his conduct was detrimental to the league.

  12. Leave it Goodell and the cabal of toady resentful owners to snatch negative press from the jaws of a positive post-Superbowl lull.

  13. Since everyone is asking… $2MM in legal fees = three NY lawyers working on the matter full time for three months. I have no idea if that’s what happened, but it’s easy to reach a figure like that, especially when you plan on handing the bill to someone else.

  14. mmack66 says:
    February 26, 2018 at 6:05 pm
    If I had it to do all over again, I’d become an NFL lawyer. It’s like a license to print money. Even more so since Goodell ascended to the throne.

    _____________________

    I disagree. I’d become a NFLPA lawyer. The NFL expects it’s lawyers to win. The NFLPA has just as much work, but they lose every time, but keep their jobs. It’s practically government work

  15. Jerry Jones will just fight this in court too, causing the NFL to spend even more on legal fees. Are they going to go after him for that money also?

    I just dont see how the other owners can force him reimburse the league for legal fees. you’d think that because they are a group of billionaires they’d realize its called the “cost of doing business”. Im the furthest thing from a Jerry Jones fan, but Im on his side on this one.

  16. therealnorwegianblue says:
    February 26, 2018 at 7:29 pm
    Since everyone is asking… $2MM in legal fees = three NY lawyers working on the matter full time for three months. I have no idea if that’s what happened, but it’s easy to reach a figure like that, especially when you plan on handing the bill to someone else.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    3 months = 60 days of work time (5 days X4 X 3). But that formula leaves 4 weeks out (20 days, so divide by 1/4 (the 3 months) and you have 5 more days. So…….

    Times = multiplied by (using X as the variable).

    65 days Times 8 hours, Times 3 (Number of lawyers) Times X (cost per hour) = 2M

    So 65 Times 8 Times 3 = 1560 work hours. Put the 1560 on the other side (of the equation) and divide (thus dividing 2M by 1560), to get the cost per hour.

    So top NY Lawyers get $1282 an hour?

    A google look-up, indeed does show that. Even higher rates. But that’s a partner in a top firm. Not sure who handled the NFL’s case or if they have in house lawyers.

    I’m sure Jerry will wiggle down that Bill or cause them to show their cards. No way in hell does anyone work that whole time, as we all know who have worked in life. Jerry will get the price down.

  17. This league has proved that it will stop at no lengths to get its way. Would you really be surprised to learn that they were fixing games at this point?

  18. So let me get this straight: the NFL is making Jerry Jones pay the legal fees the NFL incurred because Zeke Elliott challenged their warped decision to impose a ban on him without a shred of evidence he performed any wrongdoing?

    Translation message to all owners: coerce your players into blindly accepting whatever punishment we deal out to them unless you want to pay our legal fees for defending our awful decisions.

  19. Calling it a “reimbursement” could be problematic for Goodell. Jones will have the right to ask for an accounting of what he is reimbursing the league ( which he wouldn’t for a fine). You know Jones will have his accountants go through it with a fine tooth comb and may find some interesting billing practices. Goodell may be opening a Pandora’s box that the law firm doesn’t want to see the light of day.

  20. Why is Roger Goodell even still Commissioner ? He’s the biggest bozo in sports. So, Jerry will have pay a fine, while the incompetent Goodell will get a lifetime free use of the NFL jet. Yeah, he said that he will pay for the fuel, but he won’t end up paying anything.

  21. This reminds me of the time when the posters said Tom Brady was going to own the league after his court case, Zeke would win despite precedent, Jerry was going to keep Goodell from getting a new contract..

    Some people just don’t learn. Instead of predicting how Jerry is going to continue to be a petulant donkey and battle the league, consider that maybe Jerry will, other than a press release to try to salvage his pride, let it go and pay the legal fees.

    There’s nothing left for him to fight for. Goodell got his contract, Zeke served his suspension and Jerry understands it’s the owners he threw under the bus levying this fine, i mean legal reimbursement, not Goodell. It’s pocket change to him but serves as a slap on the wrist.

  22. Unless the NFL has charged other owners similar cost for similar “actions” than this is not going to fly if Jones challenges it in court. Judges will rule that it is arbitrary and vindictive.

  23. ….and Roger Goodell still tries to get everyone to believe that there is some other reason why NFL ratings are plummeting while NBA ratings are surging. Does it really require a spin doctor like Goodell to explain to fans that there is a reason other than fans are just tired of Goodell?

  24. It will be very interesting to see how Jerry Jones reacts. The underlying
    facts that the NFL believes gives them a right to see counsel fees
    seems very capricious and arbitrary. These are two key words that courts
    often look to to in determining the outcome of similar cases.
    Apparently one aspect of the NFL’s case is factually based on the
    contention that Jones somehow added to or cost the NFL to suffer
    damages in its defense of its suspension of Zeke Elliot.
    This seems to be a rather tough assertion and perhaps is even a tougher
    assertion to establish how Jones inflated or cost the NFL additional damages
    than what they would have paid in the case.
    This opens a huge can of worms that I don’t think Goodell has realized.
    If Jones decides to fight and files a lawsuit ..this gives him the right to
    conduct extensive discovery. Emails, memos of all the discipline cases are fair
    game. So now Jones and his lawyers have access to all the documents that
    were created and relied upon for the Rice case, Bonusgate, Deflategate,
    the Pending Carolina Panthers sexual harassment case etc etc…in short any case that has
    anything to do with league discipline. This info is akin to the Pentagon papers,
    and in a way creates a weapon of mass destruction for Jerry Jones.
    Any emails that relate to the discipline are fair game.
    Do you wonder what Art Rooney thinks of Jerry? How about
    the Mara’s ? Personally I can’t wait ..this is going to be better than
    any drama show in years?
    Remember when Inside the Lines accused the Ravens and
    the NFL of fasilfying information? That’s going to be discoverable!
    Remember when Goodell allegedly instructed NFL employees to
    destroy the tapes of the Patriots secretly filming the other side..
    inferring that Goodell ordered the destruction of the tapes to avoid
    further embarrassment …bingo …all those employees …emails ,
    memos …are subject to discovery.
    This is a dumb, stupid move by the NFL and especially Goodell.
    Goodell and his big time New York lawyers have shown in the past
    an unique ability to screwing up the smallest of litigation.
    This is no good Roger …you should go away on this one.

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    backintheday99 says:
    February 26, 2018 at 8:02 pm
    therealnorwegianblue says:
    February 26, 2018 at 7:29 pm
    Since everyone is asking… $2MM in legal fees = three NY lawyers working on the matter full time for three months. I have no idea if that’s what happened, but it’s easy to reach a figure like that, especially when you plan on handing the bill to someone else.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    3 months = 60 days of work time (5 days X4 X 3). But that formula leaves 4 weeks out (20 days, so divide by 1/4 (the 3 months) and you have 5 more days. So…….
    Times = multiplied by (using X as the variable).
    65 days Times 8 hours, Times 3 (Number of lawyers) Times X (cost per hour) = 2M
    So 65 Times 8 Times 3 = 1560 work hours. Put the 1560 on the other side (of the equation) and divide (thus dividing 2M by 1560), to get the cost per hour.
    So top NY Lawyers get $1282 an hour?
    ——————————————————-

    In all likelihood the 3 lawyers are partners who each had a team of associates, paralegals, clerks and other staff working, plus a ton of very expensive research – legal research websites are unbelievably expensive. Don’t get me wrong, they are still gouging but it’s probably not the 3 lawyers billing that much an hour by itself.

  26. Hmmm… Wasn’t it Jerry that once told another owner who was going to fight league discipline- “I think y’all should take your medicine and just focus on winning football games.”…

    Well Jerry, surely you’re old enough to have heard the saying ,” What’s good for the goose is good for the gander” ? LOL

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