Jerry Jones team did not only lose to the Falcons yesterday, but it seems he is also losing his war with NFL owners over Roger Goodell’s contract negotiations. Jones, who has been outspoken about anthem protests and Ezekiel Elliot’s suspension, has threatened to sue the NFL over giving Goodell an extension. Several owners have voiced their displeasure about Jones’s behavior during the Goodell negotiations.
Via CBS Sports
“This is way over the top,” one league source said. “You don’t threaten to sue your business partners because you are pissed off that your running back got suspended. That’s not how business is conducted in the league. Jerry already had only a handful of guys backing him on this (calling for Goodell’s job), and he is isolating himself more and more by doing things this way. This isn’t how you try to get your way in the NFL. It’s not going to work.”
Things have gotten so bad that owners are actually discussing removing Jones as an owner and forcing him to sell the team.
A league source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that multiple owners already have been discussing the possibility, which flows from Article VIII of the NFL’s Constitution & Bylaws. Specifically, Section 8.13 authorizes the Commissioner to determine that an owner “has been or is guilty of conduct detrimental to the welfare of the League or professional football.” If the Commissioner believes the available sanction (a $500,000 fine) is “not adequate or sufficient,” the Commissioner may refer the issue to the NFL’s Executive Committee, which has the power to compel “[c]ancellation or forfeiture of the franchise in the League of any member club involved or implicated,” with a directive to sell the team.
It’s obviously an extreme outcome, and it surely would trigger years of litigation. But the possibility has emerged primarily because Jones has opted to take family business outside the family. As the source explained it, the primary affront comes from the belief among owners that Jones instigated Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter to disparage the NFL, blaming league leadership for ratings declines and, in turn, a reduction in Papa John’s revenues.
You would think that there’s no way that the other owners, despite their differences, would actually do this, but Jones has been talking pretty reckless lately. We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks.