NFL, Goodell Merely Negotiating With Hardy, Other Punishments


As a consumer, when you walk into a car dealership, there is a set price and then negotiation ensues.  The same thing happens when purchasing a home.

NFL players shouldn’t find themselves into that particular “buyer’s position” when they perform some type of indiscretion that violates the league’s personal conduct policy.

The latest flop in Roger Goodell’s punishments involves Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, who missed most of last season on the Commissioner’s Exempt List and then was suspended by Goodell for the first 10 games of the 2015 season for his role in a domestic violence conviction, which was later overturned in the courts on appeal.

Judge Harold Henderson decided earlier today to reduce Hardy’s suspension from 10 games to four games.

This was yet another one of Commissioner Goodell’s punishments that was proven to be egregious by the court system, ever since Goodell went far too soft on Ray Rice with a two-game suspension last season.

Goodell appears to be a golfer with a terrible slice aiming as far as he can in the opposite direction, with the hopes to try and prove that his league is tough on player conduct.

The NFL was burnt so badly on the Ray Rice mishap that Goodell could have potentially lost his job for the way he and the Baltimore Ravens handled things.

Now it appears that every player that commits any type of violation will be prosecuted to the furthest extent of Goodell’s law and whatever happens on appeal, happens.  In the meantime this veracious tactic is costing players, the NFLPA and the NFL millions of dollars in court fees and is keeping these unfavorable stories in the news cycle for months on end.

This is the football equivalent of being pulled over for speeding and given a $10,000 ticket, then having to pay attorney’s fees to go to court to reduce it to a normal amount.

Make no mistake, Greg Hardy is not a victim.  Nor is he a good guy.

In July 2014, Hardy was found guilty by a judge of assaulting Nicole Holder and threatening to kill her. He received a 60-day suspended sentence and 18 months’ probation on misdemeanor charges but appealed the judge’s ruling in favor of a jury trial. The case was dismissed in February when Holder chose not to cooperate with authorities after receiving a settlement from Hardy.

The NFL, just like law enforcement, was unable to interview Holder but was provided with photos and other materials for its independent investigation that concluded Hardy used physical force against Holder in “at least four instances.”

As much of a bad guy Hardy is, it doesn’t mean that Roger Goodell’s tactics are just.  He’s creating the laws as he goes and is basically daring anyone to challenge him with lawyers and thus wasting time and valuable resources of everyone, including the judicial system.

Roger Goodell and the National Football League wants to be tougher on player conduct punishments to completely avoid a repeat of the Ray Rice situation.  That’s completely understandable.

The idea of shooting for the stars and landing in the clouds should not be the way to do so.





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.