NFL commissioner Roger Goodell plans to request millions of dollars from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in reimbursement for legal fees accrued while the league sparred with Jones over Goodell's contract renewal and Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott's suspension. The reimbursement is expected to exceed $2 million, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
The New York Times initially reported that Goodell was fining Jones, but it was later clarified—first by NFL reporter Ed Werder—that Goodell was just seeking repayment for the legal expenses pertaining to Jones's threats to sue the league. The NFL Finance Committee and other owners supported the repayment, according to Werder.
Belson reported the fees focused on Jones's efforts to hurt Goodell's contract talks. Jones was upset over Elliott's six-game suspension after the NFL concluded its investigation into domestic violence allegations against the Cowboys running back. Elliott was not arrested or charged for the incident in which a former girlfriend accused him of domestic violence. Elliott appealed his case in federal court but was denied.
Jones was among the owners in the compensation committee that determined Goodell's contract extension. Jones was calling for a different contract than what was proposed and approved in May 2017. Jones also hired an attorney that was prepared to sue the committee while trying to stop Goodell's extension from being finalized. Jones eventually backed down from his threat and no suit was ever brought.
A spokesman for the Cowboys said the team was unaware of the impending penalties, according to The Times. The NFL did not comment to The Times either.
Goodell's five-year extension was finalized in December and could be worth up to a reported $200 million.