Although it’s a long shot and would likely involve years of courtroom machinations, the NFL does have the power to remove one of its members.
The NFL Constitution and Bylaws allows the commissioner to suggest to the league’s executive committee to force “cancellation or forfeiture of the franchise in the league of any member club involved or implicated” in “conduct detrimental to the welfare of the League or professional football.”
In layman’s terms, Roger Goodell could decide that Jones’ reported threats to sabotage Goodell’s contract talks to remain NFL commissioner have been detrimental to the league, as Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio first reported. Florio reported multiple owners have already discussed the idea of removing Jones.
The Wall Street Journal corroborated the report on Thursday.
Basically, if Goodell decides a $500,000 fine isn’t “adequate or sufficient” punishment, which is what the bylaws call for in such a case, he can refer the matter to the NFLs executive committee, which has the authority to force a fellow owner to sell their franchise.
Just as the story was gaining momentum, however, an unnamed NFL owner told the Washington Post Thursday afternoon that the idea of Jones being forced out is ridiculous.
“I don’t know where this is coming from about stripping him of his franchise,” the owner said, on the condition of anonymity because of the threat of litigation by Jones. “That’s ridiculous. That’s not going to happen.”