Within the football world, or at least the NFL, Commissioner Roger Goodell is truly the man that people love to hate. Not nearly as bad as many would like to think he is, but certainly nowhere near as integral to the league’s growth over his tenure—think the dotcom boom of the late 90s and Bill Clinton—Goodell is largely a conduit of the will of the 32 owners or groups of owners behind the league’s franchises.
That is until the league—and thus Goodell—comes down on one of your own players. Note how that soured the long-held relationship between him and Patriots owner Robert Kraft over the Tom Brady suspension.
Jerry Jones, the owner of the Cowboys, is yet another owner who has largely been in Goodell’s corner over the years. Get following the circus over the Ezekiel Elliott suspension, he has gone so far as to threaten to sue if the six-member compensation committee approves a new deal for the commissioner without a league-wide vote from the owners.
The problem with this theoretical lawsuit is that this technically already happened, as during the league meetings this spring, the owners unanimously voted to allow the compensation committee to negotiate and finalize Goodell’s new contract, thus giving their consent to the terms.
It certainly seems as though owners ever step out of line when it is their team in the crosshairs, no? I wonder why that might be…
Anyway, evidently the league sent Jones’ attorney a letter that accuses him of “conduct detrimental to the league’s best interests”, though it doesn’t offer much beyond that. While there have been unsubstantiated rumors of a desire to oust Jones from his ownership role, it would take very extreme measures for that to be an even applicable option.
“Your client’s antics, whatever their motivation, are damaging the league and reflect conduct detrimental to the league’s best interests”, the obtained letter reads, in part. “With due respect, we urge Mr. Jones to drop his misguided litigation threats and media campaign to undermine the committee’s mandate”.
“And we urge Mr. Jones to support the committee’s deliberations, not attempt to sabotage them”, it concluded.
The letter also seemingly makes reference to the equally unsubstantiated reports of Goodell’s supposed contract demands, which at this point probably include $500 million a year and a small nation, the way that rumors grow.
“Someone who is genuinely concerned ‘that the owners know the truth about the negotiations’ would not deliberately distribute such an outdated document, particularly when he has in his possession drafts that are current and accurately reflect the actual state of negotiations”, the letter says.
It also seems to take somewhat of a shot at Jones, insinuating the childishness of his supposed attempt to “threaten to sue the league and its owners if he does not get his way”.
Frankly, this is all far too much drama for billionaires between billionaires for me, and I barely care. It’s not like the next commissioners is going to be some wonderful person everybody will love. He will just be the next in line at the position you all love to hate.