Entries in Roger Goodell (59)


LSU's Miles Mad At NFL's Goodell for Ignoring Calls

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(LOUISIANA) -- LSU head coach Les Miles took the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell to task for the way they chose to handle former Tigers offensive lineman La'El Collins during last week’s draft.

 Miles was particularly perturbed after Collins only option was to sign an undrafted rookie contract. NFL teams all chose to steer away from Collins during the three day draft due to the circumstances surrounding the murder of a former girlfriend.  Collins was never a suspect.

Miles placed several calls to Goodell to vouch for Collins. None were returned.

"I called him and I was told it's damn near impossible for me to get through," Miles said.

"Why wouldn't that (supplemental draft) be what it's for. Explain to me why that's not perfect for this (situation). Some guys would have passed and some said yeah. He (Collins) would have gotten his spot.

"This is a guy who is still going to make money, long term. I'd like to see an adjustment made now."

Representation for Collins attempted to have the former Tiger placed in the supplemental draft but the efforts were rebuffed by the league.  College athletes are only able to enter the supplemental draft if they were ruled ineligible for the regular draft.

"He could have been put in a supplemental draft and paid his market value," Miles told reporters.

"What I'd like to see is a guy who's really performed well for our team, given us great leadership, continued to raise his level headed toward draft day, be given just and fair market value," Miles said.

Collins was cleared of any suspicion by Baton Rouge police earlier this week and signed a three-year, $1.7 million, full guaranteed contract with the Dallas Cowboys.  The overall value is far less than he would have made if he were drafted in the first round -- where he was projected to be drafted.

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Deflategate Report Says Patriots Probably Knew About Footballs

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A report released on Wednesday by the independent attorney hired by the NFL concludes "it's more probable than not" that New England Patriots personnel "participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots games balls after the balls were examined by the referee."

The investigation, led by attorney Ted Wells, stated it "is more than probable" that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady "was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities" involving the release of air from the Patriots' footballs. But the report said there was no deliberate attempt by the Patriots to introduce a non-approved kicking ball during the AFC Championship game against the Indiana Colts on Jan. 18.

The Patriots won 45-7, then went on to win the Super Bowl on Feb. 1 against the Seattle Seahawks.

The report names Jim McNally, the Patriots' locker room attendant, and John Jastremski, a Patriots equipment assistant, as having "participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls after the balls were examined by the referee."

Patriots CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement, "To say we are disappointed in its findings, which do not include any incontrovertible or hard evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs at the AFC Championship Game, would be a gross understatement. In addition, given our level of cooperation throughout the process, I was offended by the comments made in the Wells Report in reference to not making an individual available for a follow-up interview. What the report fails to mention is that he had already been interviewed four times and we felt the fifth request for access was excessive for a part-time game day employee who has a full-time job with another employer."

He added: "While I respect the independent process of the investigation, the time, effort and resources expended to reach this conclusion are incomprehensible to me."

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DeMaurice Smith Re-Elected NFLPA Executive

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(NEW YORK) -- DeMaurice Smith has been re-elected as Executive Director of of the NFL players union.

Smith won his third team as the executive after being first elected in 2009 as the replacement for former Director Gene Upshaw who passed away in 2008.

In the previous election three years ago for the Players Association executive director, Smith ran unopposed. He faced eight challengers this year. 

The next election for the NFLPA in 2018 will be one of its most crucial.  After the 2020 season, the current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire.

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NFL Appeals Adrian Peterson Ruling

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The National Football League is not pleased with Minnesota Judge David Doty's ruling to reinstate Viking's running back Adrian Peterson.

Hours after Thursday's ruling, the NFL appealed Judge Doty's decision to overturn the suspension of Peterson in federal court. Additionally, the NFL placed Peterson back on the Commissioner's Exempt List. 

The NFL released a statement:

"Judge Doty’s order did not contain any determinations concerning the fairness of the appeals process under the CBA, including the commissioner’s longstanding authority to appoint a designee to act as hearing officer. Even so, we believe strongly that Judge Doty’s order is incorrect and fundamentally at odds with well-established legal precedent governing the district court’s role in reviewing arbitration decisions. As a result, we have filed a notice of appeal to have the ruling reviewed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the interim, Adrian Peterson will be returned to the Commissioner Exempt List pending further proceedings by appeals officer Harold Henderson or a determination by the Eighth Circuit Court."

Peterson is set to count for $15.4 million against the Vikings salary cap this season. The team has made public statements saying they would welcome him back, however the running back may not wish to return and privately the team may not want him back either.

Last week, Peterson's agent Ben Dogra had to be separated from Vikings President of Football Operations Rob Brzezinski after the two engaged in an altercation regarding the running back's future in Minnesota.

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Goodell Declines Interview With NBC

Christian Petersen/Getty Images (NEW YORK) -- Just days after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell committed his latest gaffe in the pre-Super Bowl press conference, he tops it with another.

NBC requested to conduct an interview with Goodell during Sunday's pregame show.

During Friday's press conference Goodell addressed his accessibility with the media.

"I understand the obligation and my job to meet with the media," Goodell said. "I don't know whether I meet with them at a press conference every week, but I'm available to the media almost every day of my job, professionally. We try to make ourselves available on a very regular basis. It is my responsibility, it is my job, and I will do that."

Media members have been taking the opportunity to showcase their declined interview requests since Goodell's statement. 

"I'm available to the media almost every day of my job professionally." Goodell has rejected every interview request I've made since 2012," ESPN's Don Van Natta tweeted Friday after the press conference.

While there are certain logistical details missing from the story, the perception from this isn't good for the NFL commissioner.

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NFL Puts Cap On Tone-Deaf Season

Christian Petersen/Getty Images (PHOENIX, Az.)-- The NFL has come full circle on an embarrassing 2014-2015 season.

In the annual pre-Super Bowl press conference, held Friday, commissioner Roger Goodell was asked by CNN's Rachel Nichols if the league could take any steps to mitigate conflicts of interest when hiring outside investigators.

 "I think we have done an excellent job of bringing outside consultants in," Goodell said. "Somebody has to pay them Rachel, so unless you are volunteering, which I don't think you are, we will do that." 

This latest gaffe by Goodell comes in the same year that domestic violence has taken center stage for the NFL.  After the commissioner mishandled the punishment of Ray Rice for punching his then fiancée’s face in an Atlantic City elevator, a series of public relations mis-steps have left Goodell's credibility with fans and players nearly at zero.

Which leads to the question of why Goodell remains as the commissioner.  NFLPA president Eric Winston commented to's Tom Curran after the press conference, “Hey, even the worst bartender at Spring Break does pretty well. Think about it, a 2-year-old could [be NFL Commissioner] and still make money.”

Winston has since apologized. 

In wake of the Deflate-gate scandal that appears to be overshadowing the Super Bowl, the most staunch supporter of Goodell, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, demanded that the League apologize to the team if no evidence is found of New England's guilt. The League has been received numerous criticisms for the pace and poor effort it has showing in the investigation.

Goodell acknowledged it has been a "tough year" but has no plans to resign.

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Roger Goodell Discusses Deflate-Gate

Christian Petersen/Getty Images (PHOENIX) -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed 'Deflate-Gate' for the first time since news came out after the AFC Championship game that 11 of the 12 footballs that the Patriots used were under the league standard of 12.5-13.5 pounds per square inch on Friday.

Goodell has let the investigation take place and said that an announcement would be after Ted Wells has come to a conclusion.

"It has been a tough year," Goodell said. "It's been a tough year on me personally. It's been a year of what I would say is humility and learning. We obviously as an organization have gone through adversity, but more importantly, adversity for me. It's an opportunity for us to get better. ... We've all done a lot of soul searching starting with yours truly."

"We don't know enough in this case to know who is responsible or if there was an infraction," he added.

The NFL has been under a microscope since the Ray Rice elevator incident when he knocked out his then fiancee in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

"This is my job," Goodell said when asked if he would apologize to the Patriots if they weren't found guilty of deflating any of the 11 footballs. "This is my responsibility to protect the integrity of the game. I represent 32 teams. All of us want to make sure the rules are being followed."

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Former NFL Commissioner Tagliabue Critical of Goodell

NFL Shield (NFL)(NEW YORK) -- Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue provided a candid view of the NFL under the leadership of current Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL ownership.

Tagliabue expressed concern for the league and of Goodell in a GQ article that profiles the current commissioner. Among the chief concerns Tagliabue noted was Goodell's obsession with the NFL gaining profit and finding larger revenue streams; even at the expense of the game itself. Goodell has stated that he would like the NFL to be a $25 billion industry by 2027.

There has been an increasingly hostile relationship between Goodell and NFL players. Goodell has handed out uneven punishment to players for on-field and off-field infractions, depending on his attitude towards the offending party. 

Where Goodell handed out Draconian punishments to the New Orleans Saints in the wake of the Bountygate scandal, he seemingly did a favor to the Baltimore Ravens organization by suspending Ray Rice after a domestic violence incident with his now wife, Janay Palmer.  

Tagliabue, who was appointed by Goodell to hear appeals for Bountygate, sees this as a major flaw.

"If they see you making decisions only in economic terms, they start to understand that and question what you're all about," he said. "There's a huge intangible value in peace. There's a huge intangible value in having allies."

Tagliabue served as commissioner from 1989, succeeding Pete Rozelle, through 2006, when Goodell took over.

"We haven't talked much since I left. It's been his decision," said Tagliabue. "Bountygate didn't help."

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Mueller's Ray Rice Report Flags NFL’s Effort to Get Videotape

NFL Shield (NFL)(NEW YORK) -- The NFL's investigation into the domestic abuse case involving Ray Rice lacked thoroughness, according to a report released Thursday by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

“The NFL should have done more with the information it had, and should have taken additional steps to obtain all available information about the Feb. 15 incident,” Mueller said in a statement accompanying the report.

The report says no one at the NFL saw the video of the former Ravens star punching his now-wife in the Revel casino elevator before it was posted to TMZ, but Mueller’s report suggested the NFL didn’t try very hard to obtain it.

“League investigators did not contact any of the police officers who investigated the incident, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, or the Revel to attempt to obtain or view the in-elevator video or to obtain other information. No one from the League asked Rice or his lawyer whether they would make available for viewing the in-elevator video they received as part of criminal discovery in early April," Mueller wrote.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told CBS Sept. 10, “On multiple occasions, we asked for it. And on multiple occasions we were told no.”

The NFL released a statement by Goodell that did not directly address Mueller's claim that the commissioner's office did not try very hard to obtain the elevator video, but said, "We accept his findings and recommendations."

"We have all learned a great deal in the past months and expect to be judged by how we lead going forward on issues of domestic violence and sexual assault," the statement said.

The NFL and Goodell came under scathing criticism for initially punishing Rice, a star running back for the Baltimore Ravens, with just a two-game suspension. After the surveillance video became public, Goodell acknowledged falling short and suspended Rice indefinitely from the NFL.

Who was contacted by the NFL and when they were contacted have become central focuses of the domestic abuse scandal that engulfed the league and, for a time, jeopardized the commissioner’s career atop the most valuable sports organization in the country. Goodell, who has apologized repeatedly, has insisted efforts were made to find out what Rice had done to Janay Palmer, now his wife.

Mueller’s report said, “Had the League undertaken a more substantial investigation, it may have gathered available information about the incident, possibly including the in-elevator video prior to its public release.”

The report is flawed because the Associated Press, which reported a woman at the league confirmed receipt of the video in an April 9 telephone call, declined to cooperate.

"We have reviewed the report and stand by our original reporting," said Kathleen Carroll, the AP's executive editor.

The Atlantic City Police Department also declined to cooperate with Mueller's investigation, and those are the two parties who possibly would have been able to provide evidence that the NFL had or saw the in-elevator video before it was publicly shown.

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NFL Owners Approve Revised Personal Conduct Policy

Darrin Klimek/Thinkstock(IRVING, Texas) -- NFL owners unanimously approved changes to the personal conduct policy on Wednesday.

Initial discipline will be handled by a special counsel for investigations and conduct, but commissioner Roger Goodell will retain the right to rule on appeals.

“With considerable assistance from the many people and organizations we consulted, NFL ownership has endorsed an enhanced policy that is significantly more robust, thorough, and formal,” Goodell said in a statement. “We now have a layered evaluation process to take into account a diversity of expert views. This will better enable us to make appropriate decisions and ensure accountability for everyone involved in the process.”

The revised policy will have a baseline suspension of six games without pay for violations that include assault, sexual assault, battery, domestic violence, dating violence, child abuse and other forms of family violence, with consideration given to possible mitigating or aggravating circumstances.

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