Jerry Jones wasn’t happy Roger Goodell suspended Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. Jones tried to block Goodell’s extension. Goodell is now reportedly preparing to fine Jones “millions of dollars.”
Jones has said his decision to fight Goodell’s extension was nothing personal, and likely at some point after Jones is fined Goodell will say it’s nothing personal either. But it’s hard to take it any other way. The NFL commissioner and the NFL’s most powerful owner are in a major spat, and the next step is a major one. The New York Times’ Ken Belson reported Goodell is preparing to hand Jones a seven-figure fine. Belson said that news came from five league sources.
UPDATE: Ian Rapoport of NFL Network said it’s not necessarily a fine, but reimbursement of legal fees. The Times’ story said Jones will be ordered to pay legal fees from the compensation committee, which Jones said he was prepared to sue over Goodell’s extension, and legal expenses the NFL racked up defending itself in court over the Elliott suspension.
Clarity on NFL and #Cowboys owner Jerry Jones: It’s not a fine, it’s a reimbursement of costs incurred by member clubs. More than $2M. The resolution has been on the books for more than 20 years. Goodell did this after consulting with owners.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 26, 2018
On what grounds does Goodell have to fine (or whatever it is being labeled as) Jones so heavily? Jones is being fined for his efforts to stop Goodell’s contract extension and for his defense of Elliott, The Times said. According to The Times, Goodell will claim Jones’ actions were detrimental to the league. That seems like a broad enforcement of that rule, especially for such a large fine. It will be very interesting to see if Jones fights it, assume the NFL follows through on the punishment. Jones has never been one to back down. Belson wrote the punishment of Jones comes “with the support of many NFL owners,” and one has to wonder if Jones’ growing power hasn’t sat well with some of them.
Also curious is why this story is being leaked out now. The story said the fine is expected to be announced “in coming weeks.” For some reason, multiple sources wanted it out now. That gives Jones time to think about it, and perhaps contemplate what to do. A Cowboys spokesman told The Times the team was unaware of the upcoming penalties. But for some reason people aware of the situation wanted the news broken by a major outlet now.
The Goodell-Jones relationship is obviously in a pretty bad way. And if the NFL follows through on the punishment that it told The Times about Monday, it’s about to get a lot worse.
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