Jerry Jones has been stamping his feet and chuffing like a mad bull for a few weeks now, and now we’re reached the point where he’s ready to charge.
Jones is after Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank for misleading owners about Goodell’s contract extensions, and has reportedly been pursuing his legal avenues to actually sue the NFL. Incredibly, that would be the second time he’s sued them. We’ll see what detail is unearthed in subsequent stories, but per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the league is already hitting back.
Jerry Jones has accused the league and compensation committee chairman Arthur Blank of misleading ownership on negotiations with Roger Goodell on contract extension, according to letters obtained by ESPN. League has replied, accusing Jones of misleading other owners. More to come— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) November 10, 2017
Maybe there’s something shady going on with Goodell’s contract negotiations—the man is making more money than would seem reasonable given his competence level—but it’s hard to feel overly confident in Jones’ intent or rationale here. Raise you hand, also, if you just now realized Blank was heading up the committee negotiating Goodell’s next contract.
This seems extremely likely to split the NFL’s owners into factions. The best case scenario is probably that the other 31 owners align to give Goodell his extension and push Jones out of the way, and given the disdain I feel toward Goodell and frankly most of the owners, that’s not much of a best case.
Let’s call this what it appears to be: A vengeful, laughably incensed Jones looking to get revenge after things have gone against him for the first time in recent memory. Jones, who is reckoned by many to be the most powerful owner in the NFL, had been one of the most outspoken owners on player protests and has sharply criticized the league for suspending after Ezekiel Elliott, one of his team’s most marketable stars and the subject of an oft-questioned domestic violence incident. The fact that Goodell is walking a fine line on the former issue and has been wielding a dumb, useless suspension hammer for players from other teams for years apparently makes no difference to Jones, who is suddenly personally impacted and wants his pound of flesh.
What makes this even better, of course, is that Jones just put forth a vote for a Goodell contract extension back in May. A legal battle, as MMQB notes, faces steep odds of success.
This sets up an interesting power struggle behind one of the NFL’s most reviled owners in Jones, and one of its most well-regarded in Blank, with Roger Goodell falling in the middle (but probably leaning toward Blank, the man responsible for driving his next contract forward). There aren’t a lot of potential good guys and good outcomes in this particular saga, but we’ll watch the drama with interest.