A league source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that multiple owners already have been discussing the possibility, which flows from Article VIII of the NFL’s Constitution & Bylaws. Specifically, Section 8.13 authorizes the Commissioner to determine that an owner “has been or is guilty of conduct detrimental to the welfare of the League or professional football.” If the Commissioner believes the available sanction (a $500,000 fine) is “not adequate or sufficient,” the Commissioner may refer the issue to the NFL’s Executive Committee, which has the power to compel “[c]ancellation or forfeiture of the franchise in the League of any member club involved or implicated,” with a directive to sell the team.
It’s obviously an extreme outcome, and it surely would trigger years of litigation. But the possibility has emerged primarily because Jones has opted to take family business outside the family. As the source explained it, the primary affront comes from the belief among owners that Jones instigated Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter to disparage the NFL, blaming league leadership for ratings declines and, in turn, a reduction in Papa John’s revenues.
Florio notes Jones being ousted is unlikely to happen, but it’s pretty big news to hear that NFL owners have seriously discussed it.
The conflict between Jones and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell really heightened when Ezekiel Elliott received a six-game suspension after a year-long investigation. Now Jones is trying to make sure Goodell doesn’t receive a contract extension.
Goodell is far from perfect, but it’s hard to see how Jones’ self-serving interests are what’s good for the entire league. I agree with this good take from Les Bowen:
I'm not a Goodell fan. But I think the owners have to be smart enough to realize that they don't want Jerry Jones running their league, which is where they are headed if Jones succeeds in his coup attempt. The next commissioner will owe his or her tenure to Jones' intervention.— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) November 10, 2017
It would be pretty crazy to see Jones, who was just inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame earlier this year, be ousted from the league. Again, it doesn’t seem likely, but the possibility alone illustrates the stakes of this situation.
Perhaps this report is getting to leaked so that it encourages Jones to back off. In any case, this situation is getting ugly.