Apparently NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has an image problem in the eyes of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
They clearly don’t like what they see.
First, linebacker James Harrison blasts Goodell for overexerting his power a couple weeks ago. Then, Wednesday, safety Ryan Clark was the next Steeler to take up the cause of exposing the emperor mentality Goodell has enjoyed since assuming the NFL’s top post.
Goodell does seem to possess far-reaching power to be able to discipline players and levy heavy fines and penalties without any system of checks and balances. Clark believes that must change and even said the Pittsburgh Steelers players would not ratify the new collective bargaining agreement if some of the power isn’t taken away from Goodell, according to an ESPN story.
"With Roger Goodell having total control over the fine process, that's a deal-breaker for us in this situation," Clark said.
The Steelers certainly have a vested interest in the fines process because they are one of the most-fined franchises. One of Goodell’s goals coming in is to make the league safer for the players and to that end he has been unforgiving when it comes to illegal hits.
And it doesn’t seem that much is going to change anytime soon. Sources told ESPN on Thursday that Goodell is expected to keep the same power to levy discipline and fines in the new CBA as he had before.
That obviously didn’t sit well with Clark, who seems confident that NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith is working out a deal for the players that will take away some of the power Goodell has when it comes to disciplining and fining players.
Clark went as far as to indicate players might demonstrate if something isn’t done to back Goodell down some. The 4 1/2-month lockout ended last week after the players agreed in principle to a new CBA. Some details are still being worked out and apparently Goodell’s power is one of them.
"De Smith is still working," Clark said, "and we're trying to get this figured out. But it's not an absolute that guys will be at practice tomorrow."
(Photo: NFL Photos)