Tuesday, March 25th, 2008...
The new NFL commissioner has continued to lay down the law in the NFL. As many know earlier this season the New England Patriots were caught cheating by video taping signals from the sideline. As a result the league did a “full” investigation and penalized the Patriots and their head coach, Bill Belicheat. The commissioner took away the teams first round draft pick (pick 31) and made the organization pay $250,000. Roger Goodell also made Bill Belicheat pay $500,000 because it was under his command and knowledge that it was done.
Recently the San Francisco 49ers were caught tampering with the league’s anti-tampering policy by contacting Lance Briggs’ agent Drew Rosenhaus during the season.
Due to the violation of the policy the San Francisco 49ers fifth-round draft pick will be forfeited. They will also swap third-round draft picks with the Chicago Bears. The swap will involve San Francisco’s seventh pick and Chicago’s twelfth pick, both of the third round.
The commissioner really seems to be cleaning up the league. This season he has taken care of two “cheating” scenarios. Fortunately, that is not all he has done to help clean up the league and give it a better image.
Adam “Pacman” Jones was suspended for the entire 2007-2008 season for conduct problems away from the field. Pacman Jones was involved with many legal problems outside of the NFL including an arrest, assaults charges, felony vandalism, petitions, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, and two strip club shootings.
Roger Goodell also suspended Terry “Tank” Johnson (of the Chicago Bears at the time, presently with the Dallas Cowboys) for an eight game period due to his troubles off the field. Tank Johnson had a hand gun on him while being at a club in November of 2005, which lead to 18 months of probation. Following his probation his house was searched three months later and six firearms (some loaded) were found without any licenses. He then had a traffic violation which resulted in him being cut from the Chicago Bears.
Chris Henry of the Cincinnati Bengals was the other player suspended for a long period of time (eight games) for conduct problems on and off the playing field. Chris Henry was responsible for a traffic violation, drug possession, violating the league's personal conduct and substance abuse policy, providing minors with alcohol, and some assault reports also.
Roger Goodell is making a clear point that the NFL will not put up with any nonsense. If a player is unwilling to follow the law off the field then there is a problem on the field, after all football is just football and the greatest aspect about the sport is teaching the future leaders of this country the right way. Athletes have a responsibility to the kids and that is being a positive role model, as do the teams which is why the Patriots and 49ers have been penalized the way they were.