CBA would hand most discipline decisions to neutral decision maker

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NFL players who think Commissioner Roger Goodell has too much disciplinary power may be pleased by one portion of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that owners have approved and players will soon vote on.

The union informed players today that part of the offer on the table is to take final say on most disciplinary issues away from the commissioner and in the hands of a neutral decision maker.

That could mean that, for instance, if a player commits a violation of the league’s personal-conduct policy, final say on his discipline would come not from Goodell but from an arbitrator that both the NFL and the NFLPA agreed upon in advance.

That’s a concession many players have sought, and one that some owners may be glad to give up, given how often Goodell’s decision-making on player discipline has subjected the league to criticism and backlash.

11 responses to “CBA would hand most discipline decisions to neutral decision maker

  1. What exactly defines ‘most disciplinary issues’ in this case will determine just how acceptable the change will be viewed. It is preposterous that currently Goodell gets to act as arbitrator of his own appealed decisions under Article 46. If all arbitration isn’t neutral in the new CBA the NFLPA (ahem) ‘leadership’ should be tarred n feathered then run out of office.

  2. Be careful what you wish for……..Neutrality is hard when the League pays for the process/fees. Unless it’s designed that both sides pay equally for initial office of disclipline and the loser pays for appeals/arbitration, if it goes that far, the neutrality will fall towards the owners.

  3. The players have ALL the power over the disciplinary process because unless they do something questionable there is nothing to trigger the power of the commissioner. The process is broken but not because Goodell controls it. It is broken because $ and PR drive the decisions.

  4. It sounds like the owners are making a lot of concessions–presumably to get a buyoff on the 17th game. If this deal doesn’t get approved (it won’t) then don’t be surprised if the owners take back all these things they were willing to give up. It’s called a CBA (b = bargaining) which means when one side wants something they must give something. The owners didn’t get where they are from giving away everything. This is far from over.

  5. After over a decade+ of Goodell using Article 46 to cheat, I am not sure I buy this angle. It sort of smells like posturing. Why would we testify and get caught lying, falling back on what his lawyers told him what Article 46 means, only to now give that up?

  6. Goodell’s $ is controlled by his 32 bosses. It is not something one can collectively bargain.
    If you look at most sports arbitration cases over the years, the players tend to win way more than they lose.

  7. Yeah I’d be curious if “most” would include deflategate type issues, because that’s probably the number one issue where I can see that Goodell looked most like a bozo. If it’s all player conduct headed to neutral arbiter that will satisfy most issues, but having Goodell in charge of something bigger is still a mistake.

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