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The NFL conspiracy report: Week 3, Roger Goodell is planning to cause a strike in 2020

NFL: Pro Football Hall of Fame-Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If you were looking for in depth film breakdown, or one of my opponent scouting reports, or even a Colts-centric article, you’ve arrived at the wrong article. Welcome to the weekly conspiracy report where I, Chris Shepherd, will examine nefarious plots around the league and expose them for what they are. Now sure, I won’t be able to provide you any “proof” and no I don’t have any sources (that you know of). What follows should be treated purely as entertainment that include plausible (and not so plausible) scenarios that no one employed by NFL teams would ever admit to, I accept no responsibility for anything you do with the information I’m about to give you. In fact I accept no responsibility for anything you’re about to read, at all.

In this week three expose of NFL conspiratorial glory we’re going to take a look at how Roger Goodell is using his power to suspend and fine players in an effort to distract and convince the NFL Players union to take a bad collective bargaining agreement after a lengthy holdout.

Theory: Roger Goodell is causing a hold out following the 2020 season, on purpose.

There are some important questions that need to be answered so we might get to the bottom of why Goodell has really been instituting strict rules, fining and suspending players without any kind of consistency or oversight.

  • The league wasn’t out of control before Goodell took over, it’s not out of control now, just better covered by the media, what’s the point?

Roger Goodell came into his position as commissioner and immediately implemented many disciplinary policies and procedures that don’t seem to make much sense. Even the rules that do seem to make sense aren’t enforced uniformly across the board. Why would he do that? What’s the point? What’s the endgame? Can a 59 year old man who makes more than $30 million per year really care about how a 22 year old football player lives their life off the field? I don’t think that’s it.

  • The players hate it, the fans hate it, everyone hates it, why do the owners put up with it?

Roger Goodell works for the owners, he doesn’t work for the fans, he doesn’t work for the players. His job is to make the owners boatloads of money and he’s good at it. If and when the owners don’t like something Goodell is doing or how a rule is being enforced, it will change. Recently the penalties for violations of the substance abuse policy have been shortened. So if everyone hates Goodell and his discipline policies, why do the owners allow it to continue? Money.

  • If Goodell’s job is to make the owners money wouldn’t they stand to lose vast amounts of money in the event of a holdout?

Goodell is playing the long game. Professional athletes aren’t known for saving their money and the owners have so much more money than the players, naturally the owners are better positioned to withstand a lengthy holdout. Eventually players will begin to run out of money and put pressure on the union, the union will eventually cave due to pressure and give up major demands in exchange for limits on Goodell’s power. Which means that the owners could potentially earn hundreds of millions, possibly billions more over the course of the next collective bargaining agreement due to a well planned player holdout.

  • Was the helmet rule was a failed attempt to add fines and suspensions to further Goodell’s agenda?

It makes sense that if this is true, Goodell will continue to look for ways to suspend more players as we get closer to 2020. If he wants players to be upset and holdout, taking away a basic tenant of football sure seems like a good way to create turmoil. It’s one thing to throw a flag in a game, it’s another to suspend a player for what used to be legal just a season ago.

Goodell has a fine line to walk, on one hand he wants to suspend everyone he can, on the other he doesn’t want to ruin the experience for fans, so much so that they stop watching the game. The helmet rule seems like a failure on all counts for Goodell but we have to expect more rules with stiff punishments moving forward.

  • What is Roger Goodell trying to prevent?

-Guaranteed contracts.

-Healthcare for life.

-More money for players.

-Overall better contract terms for players.

These are just a few of the things that might be sacrificed in order to get football back on the field so game checks can start rolling back into player bank accounts.

  • Surely the players union wouldn’t give up so much leverage for so little, right?

They did in 2011.

NFL: Super Bowl LII-Commissioner Roger Goodell Press Conference Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Goodell is an evil genius. Little by little he has been building for the 2020 collective bargaining agreement. He recently negotiated his own contract with the owners, his family will have healthcare for life and he has the ability to use a private jet whenever he would like, seriously he negotiated that on top of his more than $30 million per year salary. So as a man who has everything he and his family will ever need, the only thing left to do is set the owners up with a sweet deal before walking off into the sunset and if his job is to make the owners as much money as possible it means he has to make the entire world hate him first.

Roger Goodell is good at his job.