The NFL and the NFL Players Association are nearing a deal that would take away league disciplinary power from commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith toldThe Wall Street Journal on Monday.
Under the current policy, the commissioner issues punishment and supervises appeals for off-the-field incidents and personal conduct policy violations. The NFLPA is seeking a change in the policy to allow a neutral arbitrator to preside over the disciplinary process after controversy emerged from Goodell’s handling of the adjudicating of cases involving players such as Tom Brady, Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson.
“We’ve been talking about changes to the personal conduct policy since October and have traded proposals,” Smith said. “We looked at the league’s proposal for neutral arbitration. There is a common ground for us to get something done.”
In February, The Washington Postreported the commissioner’s disciplinary responsibilities would be “altered” under the new policy. Negotiations have progressed toward stripping the commissioner of those responsibilities entirely, though The Wall Street Journal’s sources say a resolution to the deal is not imminent.