Sources with insider knowledge of the inner-workings of the NFL are reporting that Jerry Jones has threatened to sue the league and some fellow owners. The dispute is over the negotiations with commissioner Roger Goodell about his potential next contract, but the displeasure from Jones stems more from the handling of the Ezekiel Elliott case. From the New York Times:
Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys and one of the N.F.L.’s most powerful figures, has escalated his feud with Commissioner Roger Goodell, threatening to sue the league and some fellow team owners over negotiations to extend Goodell’s contract, according to three people with direct knowledge of the situation.
The dispute between Jones and Goodell stems from Jones’s anger over the commissioner’s suspending of Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys’ star running back, who was accused of domestic violence by his former girlfriend. Goodell gave Elliott a six-game suspension, though no charges were filed in the case.
Jones has become more outspoken about his dissatisfaction with Goodell over his handling of Elliott’s case, and there had been rumors floating around for weeks that Jones has inserted himself into the negotiation process. These rumors have alternatively been hyped-up or shot-down, depending on who you are speaking to at the time.
According to the sources with knowledge of the meetings and phone calls, Jones is ready to pull the trigger on the lawsuit at the end of this week.
Jones said in a conference call last Thursday with the six owners — those of the Chiefs, Falcons, Giants, Patriots, Steelers and Texans — that legal papers were drawn up and would be served this Friday if the committee did not scrap its current plans to extend Goodell’s contract.
These same sources say Jones was an ad hoc member of that six-person committee, charged with negotiating Goodell’s contract, but was removed from the committee last week by the rest of the members.