It's about to get ugly between the NFL and the NFL Players' Association.
According to Andrew Brandt of ESPN, the NFLPA has filed a grievance against Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league for the suspensions handed down to the New Orleans Saints players involved in the bounty program.
Here's the tweet via Brandt:
The NFLPA has filed a grievance vs. the NFL challenging Commissioner Goodell's authority to suspend the four players he did. More to come.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) May 4, 2012
Brandt explains later on Twitter that the NFLPA's stance is Roger Goodell doesn't have the authority to hand down the suspensions because all infractions happened before the current CBA. Instead, a system arbitrator, not Goodell, should be handing out punishments.
After battling it out with the Players' Union over this past summer and nearly entering a lockout, the NFL has endured several black eyes since the end of the season, including the recent tragic death of All-Time great linebacker Junior Seau and once again bringing to light the long-term effects of a football career on the human body.
Does the Players Associations have a case against Roger Goodell?
Not a concrete one.
Goodell has the final say because of his position, and a harsh punishment was needed due to the Saints disobeying his orders. It's going to be tough to argue that because since all the infractions occurred before the current CBA, Roger Goodell doesn't have the authority to punish the players involved.
But will filing a grievance reduce any of the sentences doled out? If the NFL is steadfast on player safety and eliminating bonuses for purposely injuring players, the suspensions will stand.