Current NFL Players Association president and former NFL cornerback Domonique Foxworth said earlier this week on a conference call that many players around the league don’t trust Commissioner Roger Goodell — largely stemming from Goodell’s handling of the Saints bounty situation.
“It’s pretty obvious that there’s a gap in what would be a reasonable amount of trust …” Foxworth said. “There’ve been a number of events to lead players to believe they cannot trust the league.
“There was a bridge beginning to be built and then there were some recent events that kind of broke that bridge again.”
It’s a bridge that Foxworth doesn’t seem particularly interested in rebuilding; it’s one the former Bronco and Raven says probably couldn’t be mended, even if he wanted it to be. One of the major issues, according to Foxworth, is a need for more checks and balances between the league and the union. The union leader points to the appointing of former commissioner Paul Tagliabue as an arbiter of the bounty appeals an example of what needs to change, saying Tagliabue wasn’t “unbiased”.
The two sides will meet during the NFL Scouting Combine to negotiate a handful of issues, including the league’s proposal to make hip and thigh pads mandatory next season — something many players are against. Unless things change quickly in the relationship between the league and the union, the two parties may find themselves at an impasse.
“And if everything that we bring back to our players — every proposal that the league makes to us, we bring back to our players — and if they receive it from a negative place because they don’t trust anybody on Park Avenue,” he said, “then it’s really hard to get anything done.”
– Marcas Grant, contributing editor