NFL, Union close to deal removing commissioner Goodell of discipline power: WSJ

Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:06pm EDT
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(Reuters) - National Football League officials and the union are close to a deal involving Commissioner Roger Goodell to give up power over off-the-field player discipline, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith.

However, significant obstacles remain and the deal could still fall apart, the Journal added on late Monday.

"We looked at the league's proposal for neutral arbitration. There is a common ground for us to get something done," Smith told the Journal.

One of the concepts under discussion is to have three neutral arbitrators serving as hearing officers, the newspaper said.

Also, the arbitrators would be lawyers or former judges and would have some background in football, the Journal said, adding that the selection procedure for the arbitrators is still not clear.

The NFL and NFLPA could not be immediately reached for a comment outside regular business hours.

(Reporting by Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru)

Feb 7, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on the field before Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports