New York Post: Make teams pay

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by Angus, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. Angus

    Angus Active Member

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    June 26, 2007 -- YOU are NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and you are wholly sincere and defiantly adamant about cleaning up the league. Here is the best way to do it: Punish teams, not merely offending players.

    Make it so that enabling and coddling are things of the past. Make it so that the Bad News Bengals, with nine players arrested in a nine-month span last year - one per month, a perfectly symmetrical criminal schedule - head into this season at a competitive disadvantage. Make it so that the Titans get hurt on the field because of what Adam "Pacman" Jones perpetrated outside those many strip clubs and make it so the Bears are weakened by the gun-toting antics of a menace named Tank Johnson - finally cut loose by Chicago yesterday.

    Your guy gets convicted, your team loses a draft pick. Or how about taking that tidy and binding salary cap and reducing it by a few million spending bucks for any club that harbors athletes that bring the cops to the door?

    You want head coaches to add off-field discipline to their burgeoning to-do list? Start penalizing teams and see how any scent of boys-will-be-boys is instantly deodorized.

    The news yesterday was that the Bears waived the notorious Johnson three days after he was pulled over for speeding in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert, Ariz. Johnson was arrested for "DUI Impaired to the Slightest Degree," which on the surface certainly doesn't sound terribly dastardly.

    Of course, this is the same Tank Johnson - a top-notch defensive tackle - who had been suspended for the first eight games of the 2007 season after violating probation on a gun charge. Last December, police raided Johnson's suburban Chicago home and found six unregistered firearms. That was a violation of a previous gun charge. Two days after the December raid, Johnson's bodyguard, Willie B. Posey, was shot and killed while he and Johnson were at a Chicago nightclub.

    Two months later, Johnson played in the Super Bowl. In March, he began a two-month jail stint. The Bears did not cut him loose - until now.

    "We are upset and embarrassed by Tank's actions last week," Bears GM Jerry Angelo said in a statement. "He compromised the credibility of our organization."

    Credibility is not a term NFL executives should throw around so boldly, as teams often look the other way when misconduct rears its ugly head. These are grown men, the company line intones, and while we don't condone such behavior, we can't police our players 24 hours a day. Surely that is true, but when obvious punk behavior and blatant criminal actions arise, teams wait for the legal system to run its course before adopting any sort of moral stance.

    Goodell has come in with both fists clenched and in the first round of his stewardship is making a wonderful bid to become the Law and Order Commish. He appears dead-serious about the tougher player-conduct penalty he has put in motion, but jettisoning players from the league is not enough.

    The vast majority of the inhabitants of an NFL locker room are hard-working professionals and law-abiding citizens. It's the bums who create the image of lawlessness that Goodell is determined to eradicate.

    So, he should take the next step. Set up a sliding scale that makes it abundantly clear that teamwork doesn't end after the fourth quarter. Can you imagine the outrage in Nashville if the Titans lost a first-round draft pick because of Pacman's rap sheet? How do you think loyalists of Da Bears would react if their team, thanks to Tank, had less salary cap money to spend on free agents than everyone else? You think Bengals coach Marvin Lewis might have put the hammer down a bit sooner if his felonious bunch had lost draft picks and salary cap money for regularly turning up on police blotters?

    The peer pressure to perform in a game is immense. Just imagine if some youngster on the Giants gets arrested and, after posting bail, sees an un-welcoming committee of Antonio Pierce and Jeremy Shockey demanding an explanation.

    Good riddance to Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson. Goodell is on the right track, but the race is not yet won.
  2. Vintage

    Vintage The Cult of Jib

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    You want to hit franchises hard Goodell and clean up the 'mess' that is the league?

    Fine the owners money (and use that money to donate to charities, say, like Hurrican Katrina victims, etc.....bring in good publicity with the fined monies. That will turn around the league image as well. Imagine the headlines, "NFL to donate $10 million to recovering disaster victims fund" - how about those for headlines instead of "so and so arrested today.")

    And fine them picks. High picks. Day one picks.

    Otherwise, teams will continue to take chances on players if they aren't losing anything more than a potential player they might have lost anyway.

    THUMPER Papa

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    I would like to see the teams have to pay out the entire contract of the player(s) involved to a fund for disbursment to older NFL retirees.

    In other words, Tank Johnson is gone and the team isn't paying him any more but his entire contract (including salary, incentives, & bonuses) is paid to this fund. The cap is hit just as if he were still with the team for the entire length of his contract.

    The Bengals would be seriously screwed by this with so many players involved but that would be the most effective way of making an impact to the team.

    Fining the owners would be an additional penalty for teams with multiple offenders (like the Bengals).

    This would send a message to both the players and the teams as well as help out the older retirees (making for an excellent PR coup for the league right now).
  4. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    If I'm not mistaken, in the new conduct policy, teams will be held more accountable for the actions of their players. I don't know if it's by loss of picks, but they can be fined.

    I'll have to do a search to confirm.


  5. Alexander

    Alexander What's it going to be then, eh?

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    I am not sure that is completely fair.

    By all accounts, Tennessee has done everything short of tying Adam Jones up to keep him out of trouble. They can talk to them until they are blue in the face and a thug will still be a thug, a criminal a criminal. I certainly would not feel penalizing them would be a solid move.

    It sounds juvenile, but teams could easily document conversations and report them to the league to demonstrate they have at least attempted to address the issues.

    Now, if they are repeat offenders, like Cincinnati, by all means.
  6. Vintage

    Vintage The Cult of Jib

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    Then institute a policy in regards to something like this...

    "First time yields...."
    "Second time yields...."

    And so forth.

    THUMPER Papa

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    That's why I am not infavor of penalizing teams draft picks but just the cap hit and money.

    The Titans drafted Adam Jones KNOWING that he had been in trouble in college so it's not like they had no clue what he would be like. To let them totally off the hook would not send the message that needs to be sent.

    What needs to happen is that teams will be unwilling to take a chance on players like that and they will be forced to seek employment elsewhere. Giving guys like that millions of dollars does nothing but provide them the means of becoming even bigger thugs.
  8. Vintage

    Vintage The Cult of Jib

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    Fining really isn't too big of a deal to some owners. A cap hit? How's that any different than just releasing a guy. If he wasn't worth the trouble, you'd release him anyway. And if your team has plenty of cap room anyway, whats a little hit on it?

    If you want to make it hurt, fine them picks and money. The only reason for the money is to donate it to charities, give the NFL good publicity.

    I mean if Goodell is serious about all of this....time to make it really inconvenient for teams to gamble on someone....draft picks do that.
  9. Alexander

    Alexander What's it going to be then, eh?

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    Jones was fairly obvious because he flaunted his thuggery.

    But what of others? I am sure we would all be shocked to hear about the extent of trouble many of these players have gotten into.

    If you eliminate every character issue player because the teams fear reprisal from the league, we would be shocked at how shallow the talent pool would become.
  10. sacase

    sacase Well-Known Member

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    Taking a cap hit won't hurt the team, it will just hurt the players who are barely making the roster in the first place. Star players are still going to get their money.

    Loosing draft pick just punishs the player who could be drafted in that position.

    Significant fines should do the trick though. For some reason people don't think that 1 million dollars is a lot, but every NFL owner would feel it.
  11. Vintage

    Vintage The Cult of Jib

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    The NFL would survive without Chris Henry, Adam Jones, Tank Johnson, would it not?

    Plenty of players have turned it around.....I understand. So adopt a "second chance policy" or something....a team cannot be penalized a pick unless a player gets in serious trouble for a second offense.

    Losing draft picks and money will send a message to teams.
  12. Vintage

    Vintage The Cult of Jib

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    It doesn't punish a player who could be drafted there. If someone is really that good, another team will snatch him up right away. If he isn't, then he didn't deserve to go there anyway.

    And who cares?

    When a team trades picks, it shakes up the draft. Losing a pick does the same thing.....
  13. sacase

    sacase Well-Known Member

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    No loosing a pick means less people will be drafted. If a team trades a pick there are still the same amount of picks.
  14. Vintage

    Vintage The Cult of Jib

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    So it affects maybe one player at the end of the draft...

    If that one player was really that good, he'd have gotten drafted. He probably would have a better chance at picking his team and making the roster than being drafted by a team and trying to make that roster anyway.

    Furthermore, every year, the number of picks fluctuate with the number of compensatory picks there are. So in some years, don't more players get drafted than others?
  15. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    I don't think the teams should be punished at all. Keep the punishment upon the individuals. teams are already basically punished by losing their services during suspensions and by the perception of their teams.

    Keep the blame on the responsible party, don't transfer it.

    A Canton, Ohio cop killed his pregnant girlfriend. Does that mean all cops in Canton, Ohio are tainted? I don't think so, but there will be a stigma from this incident to overcome.

    A wrestler just killed his wife and child before killing himself. Does that mean all wrestlers are dangers to their families and themselves?

    You can't force organizations to keep their players under lock and key. All you can do is offer them the best environment you can provide, make them want it more than they want the "high life" and pray they use good judgment.

    Michael Irvin deserved to be punished for his misdeeds. I fail to see where the Cowboys forced him to do drugs and chase whores.

    Keep the punishments focused on the guilty.
  16. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal Insulin Beware

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    I don't know how much I agree with this. How accountable should a team be for one of it's players actions off the field? If I went to a strip club and got into the trouble Jones did, I highly doubt my company would do anything more than fire me.

    As for punishing them for taking a chance on players with a history, that seems unfair as well. What about guys like Chris Canty, who has been quiet as a mouse, but dropped because of his injury and character concerns? You would be punishing players who, although they might have a 'history,' might have learned from their prior mistakes.

    A team should do something to curtail these issues, but I fail to see how a team is responsible for the actions of a grown man.
  17. Vintage

    Vintage The Cult of Jib

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    As stated, you could institute a policy where a first time offender is given a second chance (or more, if they decide to).

    But if someone like a Chris Henry keeps getting in trouble, fine a team for keeping that player on the roster....

    With a high pick....

    If Goodell is serious about this, that would send a clear message.
  18. sacase

    sacase Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand why people are so irrational about this. For some reason people feel the need to put restrictions on playes that they would never tolerate for themselves, even if they were in the same situation.

    THUMPER Papa

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    I disagree, that is an opinion based on the media's projection of the league but it is not based on reality IMO. 90+ % of the league's players have no serious character concerns. If you look at the Cowboys right now there are only 3-4 guys who have ever had any kind of problems with the law (Keith Davis and Canty are the only ones I can think of off hand).

    The problem is that we only hear about the thugs and rarely hear about all the other players who are doing community service (voluntarily, not court-ordered) and raising their families without hanging out at strip clubs at 3:00 am.

    Getting rid of 5-6% of the players in the league would make a dent but it would not seriously reduce the talent pool and I believe the game would be better for it.
  20. CowboyJeff

    CowboyJeff New Member

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    I'm not sure if holding a team accountable for the actions of their players off the field is completely legal.

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