Ryan Clark Tried To Warn Everyone About The Absolute Power Of Roger Goodell

The Pittsburgh Steelers as a team voted against ratifying the new CBA last summer and now it appears several players across the league wished they had done the same.

Jim Corbett of the USA Today reported on Monday that Kansas City Chiefs right tackle Eric Winston expressed deep regret to his medium that the NFLPA didn\’t do more to curb the disciplinary and appeal powers of commissioner Roger Goodell in light of the appeal hearings of the players involved in Bountygate.

“Obviously we don\’t want Roger Goodell having absolute power. In a lot of this process, it seems like he does,” said Winston. “It\’s unfortunate. It seems like he\’s running amok with it and deciding to do what he wants and it really doesn\’t matter what the evidence says. Unfortunately, we don\’t have an alternative option to appeal to.”

Winston is not alone as Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White took to Twitter with his disgust on Monday as well. White stated in his social media rant that he never wanted to sign that voting card and that he doesn\’t know why they are all complaining, because they did all of this to themselves. He stated that he blames the NFLPA for failing the players.

Steelers union player rep Ryan Clark must feel like a prophet of sorts as he warned about the power that Goodell would hold moving forward. Clark summed it up back in early August of last year why the Steelers as a team would likely vote against ratifying the CBA. “With Roger Goodell having total control over the fine process, that\’s a deal-breaker for us in this situation.” Clark also added, “We feel like someone else should be on there,” as he talked about the appeals and disciplinary process. “There should be some … type of way — actually someone who\’s not on the NFL payroll. A big issue, for us, especially, as a team, is Roger Goodell … being judge, jury and appeals system.”

Corbett also heard from Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely, the team’s union rep, via a text to say that the issue wasn’t considered a deal-breaker at the time. “Yes, the players wish he didn’t have that power, but it wasn’t worth sacrificing CBA [over],” Feely said.

Perhaps it should have been, but it appears to be too late now. Other players and reps may have thought that Clark was over the top with his thinking at the time because of all of the discipline the Steelers as a team had received over the last few years. The NFLPA had a model case of the power that Goodell had right in front of them, but they, as a group, chose to ignore it.

I am not saying what the Saints players did is right as the evidence seems overwhelmingly against them. Regardless of what is real and what is false, I bet all involved wish there was a third party to rule on it and handle the discipline.

One thing is for certain. Whatever happens moving forward over these next 9 years, the NFLPA can\’t say that Clark and the Steelers didn\’t try to warn them.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Ahmad

    I’ve been thinking the same thing over the past couple days. Clark did warn everyone but they just brushed it off as him being mad at Goodell for fining his team so much. Now look what’s happening. Still if there had been no bounty system, none of this would be happening so the players can’t really fault Goodell as much as they are.

  • Med171

    Goodell’s evidence of a bounty system doesn’t hold water. The times I’ve seen New Orleans play, I didn’t see any deliberately trying to injure people; just football.

    Goodell’s (the owners’) people watch all the games for cheap shots. If they realized they were missing these cheap shots repeatedly, maybe they should punish themselves.

    They definitely missed one of the ratbirds trying to rip Isaac Redman’s ankle off back in 2010.

  • Game_Time

    The Steelers are a world class organization for more reasons than just winning Super Bowls. It starts from the top (ownership) and works its way down to every member that makes the machine work. Ryan Clark is the teams player union rep and the voice which expressed the team (as well as the Rooney family’s) concerns in matters of Roger Goodell’s power as a whole. The Rooneys have been major players in the NFL for far longer than Goodell has been living and have probably forgotten more football than the Comish will every know. With that said, if Art Rooney ll allowed his player rep to voice such a strong opinion when it came to the NFL’s commissioner’s authority, and also have his team vote against ratifying the CBA I would think it was for a damn good reason. It’s safe to say the Rooneys know football and I feel comfortable saying that Art Rooney ll is the E.F. Hutton of the NFL and when he speaks all other owners should listen and follow suit.

  • Dan

    I don’t believe Rooney has control over what a player does in his role as a Union Rep. That being said, Goodell is wrong here but is getting a bit of a bad rap. He is a lawyer and doing his job as a lawyer would. His power is bestowed by the owners via the CBA. If the owners disagree with how he is doing things it would change. Obviously the owners don’t disagree, so then that is that. (And by owners I mean collectively. I’m sure there is significant disagreement within the group, even with the loss of Al Davis.)

  • kevin

    You must not have watched that game against the Vikings and their cheap shots at Favre. The NFL does not need to prove reasonable doubt.

    The evidence that I saw is pretty good, although I have not see the evidence that implicates Fujita.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Just because a bounty was put on someone doesnt mean they ever got accomplished

  • Fish

    Missing the point. It’s that the bounty was in place……period. And to top it off the Saints thumbed their nose at the commish when he told them to knock it off, sure that sat well with him. Although I agree Goodell has to much power, you can’t feel sorry for the Saints. Just plain stupidity. And the commish continues to give them a little more rope to hang themselves by not releasing any info. Vilma especially is taking arm fulls of it by denying it and is really going to look stupid when the time is right and the info is released by the good ole commish. The NFL’s lawyer is better than your lawyer, stop taking your’s advise and think for yourself and use some common sense.