The palace intrigue at the National Football League could develop into an all-out civil war, according to recent reports.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones have been at sword’s point throughout the 2017 season on issues ranging from national anthem protests, to Goodell’s proposed contract extension. Jones has also targeted Goodell for suspending Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.
As reported by The Western Journal, the most recent quarrel between Jones and Goodell revolves around a proposal to pay the NFL commissioner a reported $49.5 million per year in salary.
The New York Times on Monday reported that several owners have issued what the Times labeled a “cease-and-desist warning” over the efforts Jones is making to block Goodell from getting a contract extension.
The Times report, which did not name its sources, said the warning followed a Monday conference call among owners working on the contract extension. Jones has threatened to sue both the NFL and the committee of owners over the contract if it is approved over his objections.
Jones could face fines, the loss of draft picks and suspension, The Times reported.
Things could reportedly get even worse.
NBC’s Pro Football Talk, citing unnamed sources, said that some owners have examined the possibility of using one part of the NFL’s bylaws to remove Jones.
The anonymous source said that the NFL’s Constitution & Bylaws allows the commissioner to determine if an owner “has been or is guilty of conduct detrimental to the welfare of the League or professional football.”
If the commissioner were to consider that a $500,000 fine is not an adequate punishment, the NFL’s Executive Committee would then be called in. That panel could order the “cancellation or forfeiture of the franchise in the League of any member club involved or implicated,” and force sale of the team.
Currently, the owners working on Goodell’s contract are not talking.
“The committee is continuing its work towards finalizing a contract extension with the commissioner,” compensation committee chairman, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, said in a statement on Monday. “The negotiations are progressing and we will keep ownership apprised of the negotiations as they move forward. We do not intend to publicly comment on our discussions.”
Jones said he just wants to urge owners slow down in their decision-making process, according to ESPN.
“He’s served about 60 percent, roughly, 65 percent of this contract,” Jones said in reference to Goodell. “He has 18 months left on there. We’ve got all the time in the world to evaluate what we’re doing. We’ve got all the time in the world to extend him. We just need to slow this train down and have a lot of time to discuss the issues at hand in the NFL and have a good, fair input from all the owners, which we’re not getting.”
Jones added that many owners are leery of giving the six-person compensation committee the power to seal the deal with Goodell.
“I speak to a lot of owners, and I know them to be really supportive of the idea of being able to, on their part, see what and guide and give input to the committee, particularly the chairman,” Jones said. “And I have well over half this league that is very interested in not only being a part of what is negotiated but having it come back to them for approval.”