When it comes to identifying bad behavior and treating it like a rogue incident that needs to be stamped out — as opposed to a practice that's commonplace all over the league — no one is more effective than the
This does not bode well for suspended
The argument that Incognito was just acting like a lot of NFL players, and the threatening and racially charged language he used with teammate
Goodell has never been a fence-sitter or sheepish about making difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions he feels are in the best interest of the NFL.
He has handed out significant suspensions to players such as
Incognito already had a checkered past in college and in the league. After the investigation is completed, if Goodell believes Incognito has damaged the image of the NFL and/or violated the league's personal-conduct policy — a policy Goodell put in place — the punishment figures to be severe.
It wouldn't be a surprise if Goodell suspended Incognito indefinitely, leaving open the possibility he could return the way Williams did.
If it were an indefinite suspension of Incognito, as opposed to a lifetime ban, Goodell could still hold the cards and Incognito would be less inclined to air every shred of dirty laundry he might have.
The league brought in Ted Wells to conduct the independent investigation. It was Wells who investigated
If Incognito goes down, he won't go down alone. There already have been reports suggesting he was told to "toughen up" Martin by either his coaches or the front office, and maybe both. Should the investigation point to that, or if the Dolphins knew or should have known this was going on, heads will roll there too.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross addressed the situation for the first time this week, and he heaped praise on his coach.
What stood out in Ross' comments is he didn't say a peep about General Manager
Ross is trying to get public money for a stadium in South Florida, and this isn't the type of situation that wins the hearts and minds of the general public.
The NFL is less than three months removed from a $765-million concussion settlement, so the league has barely had time to exhale.
What's more, one way the league wants to add value to the in-stadium experience is by giving fans a chance to get an inside look at what happens in locker rooms.
The NFL might want to rethink that strategy.