NFL has no jurisdiction over joint practices (but it should)


Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald will face no action from the NFL for his behavior during joint practices with the Bengals, but only because the NFL has no jurisdiction over joint practices.

PFT has confirmed the longstanding practice of clubs being responsible for overseeing conduct of players at practice, including joint practices.

This means that Donald will be suspended or otherwise punished only by the Rams. Which means that Donald won’t be suspended or otherwise punished.

If it were a lesser player, the Rams likely would do something. If it were a player on the roster bubble, he’d likely be cut.

But it’s Aaron Donald. Examples are made of the scrubs. Excuses are made for the stars. And there are few bigger stars currently in the NFL than Aaron Donald.

Should it be that way? No. The league should have the ability to impose punishment for conduct at joint practices. It’s strange that the league doesn’t have such authority, and it’s something the league should change immediately.

31 responses to “NFL has no jurisdiction over joint practices (but it should)

  1. Lets lay off the NFL. They will for sure suspend him but only if the NFLPA allows it.

    We need to really start holding the NFLPA accountable as the resposible party for these light punishments for defending these bad seeds in the league.

    If the NFLPA allowed the NFL to issue punishment, then these incidents would lessen. Now these guys have the PA backing their actions.

  2. Donald has bigger problems – he should have criminal charges filed against him and spend some time in jail for his assault with a deadly weapon. Once that happens, the NFL will be forced to kick him out of the league for a year and then he can join DeeShawn on the professional dirtbag league.

  3. So if a Bengals player dove at Aaron Donald’s knee and destroyed it….it’s up to THE BENGALS to discipline him? Tell me again why any team would have joint practices.

  4. chue says:
    August 25, 2022 at 8:04 pm
    So if a Bengals player dove at Aaron Donald’s knee and destroyed it….it’s up to THE BENGALS to discipline him? Tell me again why any team would have joint practices.


    But that didn’t happen, did it?

  5. It’s football! It’s barbaric by nature. Are we really going to act like we are surprised?

  6. Let me see if I understand.

    The NFL can suspend a player for something he did off season and completely outside of the NFL but they can’t suspend a player who commits felonious assault against other NFL players during a practice.

    So all Watson needs to make sure he repeats – and he will – during official practice times.

  7. Aaron donald is that guy. And screw rank stuff that any guy willing to fight for the team, whether it’s possibly severely injuring someone else. I want that guy on my team lol

  8. How can the NFL not intervene just because it was at a practice. It’s still assault. The NFL is a contradictory/hypocritical joke. What if a player sexually assaulted someone at a practice? Would the league still stay out of it because of jurisdiction?

  9. Don’t need to open this can of worms. Teams can police themselves inside their own practices. Don’t be so reactionary.

  10. Joke. He needs to be suspended. I thought he’s a professional athlete. You don’t see a lot of professional lawyers or architects attacking people with their briefcases.

  11. It’s practice. If the league had authority over joint practices, joint practices would stop real quick. If the league has proven anything it’s that they need LESS authority, and here you are wanting them to have more

  12. The NFL doesn’t have jurisdiction over assault?


    When did they become a court of law? They just think they are.

  13. so the people who can punish him won’t buy you attack the nfl, beacause they cant?

  14. nathanp2013 says:
    August 25, 2022 at 8:53 pm

    The NFL doesn’t have jurisdiction over assault?


    We have a functioning criminal justice system to handle assaults, and civil courts to handle injuries and contract disputes.

    The NFL should only handle their rules and issues that affect the play of the game. In other words, stop looking to the NFL and other employers to be the Punishers of Last Resort.

  15. The NFL has jurisdiction over its player, coach ad owners’ individual conduct during off-hours and in off-site premises like highways, nightclubs, and massage parlors…but the NFL does not have jurisdiction over its players conduct in NFL practices?

    It’s a real head scratcher, for sure. You have to think for a long time, probably even go to college for several years, for it to begin to make any sense at all.

  16. The NFL would only do something about it if public outcry were involved. They have to make themselves look good.

  17. Who was dumb enough to schedule a joint practice with the teams that just won/lost the Super Bowl!?! It was inevitable!

  18. Couldn’t they call it a violation of the personal conduct policy then? This was not what you routinely see in a training camp fight.

  19. So if he had hit Joe B. with a helmet and cracked his skull you’re telling us the NFL would just throw their hands up and say it’s not their problem?

    If it’s not in the CBA that teams handle their own discipline than the NFL can do whatever it wants. It is simply choosing to stay out of it. Personal conduct during a practice (joint or otherwise) can’t be ignored while personal conduct in private settings are being policed.

  20. So, the league can suspend someone for activity OFF the field completely, but not wearing an NFL Uniform performing NFL practice activities?
    Makes sense. To the NFL.

  21. So NFL practice fields are like some kind of safe zone where NFL rules don’t apply?
    Maybe DeShaun should get his massages on the practice field from now on.

    If nobody else wants to take responsibility to discipline him maybe the Hamilton County prosecutor should take a look. He could have killed someone if they weren’t wearing a helmet.

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