Roger Goodell's gross incompetence as the NFL's punisher-in-chief may soon come to an end: the league and the NFL Players Association work toward a deal to strip the bumbling commissioner of his disciplinary powers. It's about time.
Goodell's inability to effectively wield the power to punish has been on display for years. In three separate high profile cases — the Ray Rice domestic violence case, the Adrian Peterson child abuse case and the Tom Brady Deflategate controversy — he's doled out punishments that were later overturned by a judge. If there's a way to look more ineffective than that, Goodell's still searching for it.
With the NFL Player's Association and the league discussing alternatives to Goodell, including a panel of neutral arbitrators, the question will now come before the league's owners, the wrinkly cabal of billionaires who cut Goodell's enormous check. All told, the league's owners appear happy with the job Goodell's done, but that's a largely based on his ability to continually increase league revenues. Surprise: Rich dudes are happy when they get richer.
Still, Goodell's less-than-inspiring performance as disciplinarian could bring a rare rebuke from the owners, who'd certainly prefer a puppet to a board of independent arbitrators. Problem is, Goodell has proven so inept at that part of his job that the owners appear ready to move on. Don't expect them to move on from Goodell any time soon though. As far as the owners are concerned, he excels at the most important part of his job: making them money. Until that changes, he won't go anywhere.