NFL owners are willing to make significant concessions to players on two key issues after their annual fall meeting.
According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, owners are said to be strongly willing to take some disciplinary power away from commissioner Roger Goodell and put it in the hands of an independent arbitrator. There is also a willingness to loosen the league’s marijuana policy.
Both of these items have been named as priorities the players want addressed as part of a new labor deal, which the league would like to accomplish by March. It’s not clear if this could lead to player concessions, such as agreeing to a 17-game season that owners want to implement.
Goodell’s role as disciplinarian has long been an issue with players. His disciplinary power is enormous, and he essentially has the only say on how players are punished for off-field indiscretions. It’s not clear how big a priority this is for players, but the issue has been lingering for some time, and they would not mind seeing it addressed.