NFL AM: Goodell, NFL Defeated Again


NFL Needs To Change The Power Structure On Punishments

The proverbial pounding of a gavel ended the longstanding national nightmare which will forever be known as “Deflate-gate.”

As you know, Tom Brady’s four-game suspension was vacated and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was left with more egg on its face.

The NFLPA issued a statement.

“The rights of Tom Brady and of all NFL players under the collective bargaining agreement were affirmed today by a Federal Judge in a court of the NFL’s choosing. We thank Judge Berman for his time, careful consideration of the issue and fair and just result.

“This decision should prove, once and for all, that our Collective Bargaining Agreement does not grant this Commissioner the authority to be unfair, arbitrary and misleading. While the CBA grants the person who occupies the position of Commissioner the ability to judiciously and fairly exercise the designated power of that position, the union did not agree to attempts to unfairly, illegally exercise that power, contrary to what the NFL has repeatedly and wrongfully claimed.

“We are happy for the victory of the rule of law for our players and our fans. This court’s decision to overturn the NFL Commissioner again should signal to every NFL owner that collective bargaining is better than legal losses. Collective bargaining is a much better process that will lead to far better results.”

Deflate-gate was nothing more than a urination contest between two men, involving several lawyers, millions of dollars and the only thing accomplished outside of billable hours was allowing sports talk radio hosts to make more outrageous statements.

Goodell may come out of this, and seemingly every other appeal looking stupid, but make no mistake, his job is not on the line.  Although he has the full support of most NFL owners, it doesn’t mean that he and the rest of the league needs to continue “spinning a proverbial wheel” to determine suspensions.

The days of the commissioner being the judge, jury, executioner and appeals judge need to come to an abrupt end.  Although the NFLPA gave him the power that he currently yields, it wasn’t meant to be used unfairly by hiring anything but independent investigators to come up with a certain conclusion, and then simply making up the rest as you go along.

Despite the egregious amount of egg on Goodell and the NFL’s collective faces there’s no reason to believe that anything will change anytime soon, even if it is in their best interests.  The league has unlimited funds to take these battles to court, even if they keep losing them.

Roger Goodell might not be a power hungry dictator, but he certainly plays one on TV.

Bucs Sign Tim Jennings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith is apparently opening up an orphanage in the Bay Area for displaced former Chicago Bears.

Jason Licht, the Bucs general manager announced during Thursday night’s broadcast that the team has come to terms with former Bears cornerback Tim Jennings on a one-year deal, pending a physical.

Jennings will add depth to a Tampa secondary which includes stud Alterraun Verner and former second-round pick Jonathan Banks.  The former Bears cornerback earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2012 while playing for Smith.

With Leonard Johnson getting waived/injured, Jennings would be a good fit at the nickel.  With a major lack of experienced pass rushers, the Bucs will need to be very good in the secondary.

Around The League…

All 32 teams were in action Thursday night and not one single result of any game mattered.

However, Tim Tebow may have either won a roster spot or played in his last NFL game.  The former Heisman Trophy winner completed 11 of 17 throws, for 189 yards with a pair of touchdown throws and one interception.

Tebow certainly brings something that Matt Barkley doesn’t as far as a third quarterback that can scramble.

What he doesn’t bring is an ability to make quick decisions and be accurate with the football.

There’s really no reason for a team to carry a third quarterback unless it’s a young guy that can be developed into a starter or quality backup down the road.  As far as the Eagles are concerned, Barkley would fit better in that role, however his contract will expire at the end of the 2016 season.

If Tebow doesn’t make the Eagles final roster and they decide they might want to bring him back at some point during the season, it’s very likely that he will be available.

Speaking of quarterbacks….some systems are just ultra QB-friendly.  The Green Bay Packers have one of those systems and rookie Brett Hundley is flourishing in it.  Hundley went most of the way in the Packers 38-10 victory over the New Orleans Saints as he completed 16 of 23 throws, for 236 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.

While Hundley was looking like Aaron Rodgers, Saints rookie quarterback Garrett Grayson was looking like a rookie.  Grayson completed just eight of 19 throws, for 71 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.  The Saints rookie was the third quarterback selected in the draft (third round), roughly two rounds ahead of Hundley.

Making somebody’s roster… will be current Jacksonville Jaguars running back Corey Grant and current Detroit Lions running back Zach Zenner.  Grant began Jags camp on the outside looking in and all he’s done is make plays at every opportunity.  The former Auburn rookie continued his playmaking Thursday night as he gained 74 yards on just five carries, including a 40-yard touchdown run.

“You saw his speed right there- legit fast,” Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said.  “You know what? (He runs a) 4.29 (40-yard dash) and I think he used it all on that touchdown run.”

Meanwhile, Zenner scored another touchdown for the Lions and finished a very productive training camp and preseason.  He runs as hard as anyone and with Detroit’s depth at the position, he may just find a way to the open market when final cuts come in by Saturday afternoon.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.