The League

Mark Maske
Staff Writer

Mark Maske

Writes the NFL News Feed blog

Lifetime Ban Seems Unlikely


I won't really tell you what I think about this issue. It's not my place to say since I have to cover it as a news story and maintain my objectivity.

But I will tell you that most of the people around the league that I've talked to, people who are familiar with the NFL's personal conduct policy, don't think that Commissioner Roger Goodell will banish Adam Jones from the league for this latest incident.

No criminal charges were filed. As Jones's Dallas Cowboys teammate, Tank Johnson, pointed out, no one was hurt and no one was jailed.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones opted against disciplining Adam Jones himself. That's irrelevant to the league's decision: Jerry Jones has a competitive interest in keeping Adam Jones in the lineup and on the field.

Goodell made it clear during a radio interview Thursday that he was disappointed by Adam Jones's latest brush with off-field trouble, a scuffle in the bathroom of a Dallas hotel Tuesday night with one of his bodyguards. When Goodell suspended Jones, then with the Tennessee Titans, for the entire 2007 season for violating the just-bolstered conduct policy, the commissioner warned the talented cornerback that further trouble could end his NFL career.

Goodell has great leeway under the policy, which was strengthened in the spring of 2007 with the support of the players' union. Many players said at the time they didn't want the off-field issues of a few players tainting the reputations of all players and the league as a whole. Under the policy, Goodell can discipline a player even if the player isn't convicted of a crime. He can impose a lifetime ban on the worst of repeat offenders. He can pretty much do what he thinks is right for the sport, and any appeal of his decision ends up being heard by him or someone designated by him. Goodell clearly seems miffed that Adam Jones is generating publicity for off-field misbehavior yet again, but the prevailing sentiment around the league seems to be that this incident doesn't rise to the level of what it would take to get Jones kicked out of the NFL for good.

By Mark Maske  |  October 10, 2008; 11:38 AM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Stop Holding Back Defense | Next: A clear policy is needed

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company