Skip to content

Joe Thomas: From a player's perspective, Goodell should be removed

Andrew Weber / USA TODAY Sports

Joe Thomas has been vocal about several issues with the NFL, and if it were up to him, he would deal with the problem at its root.

During an interview on "In Depth with Graham Bensinger," the Cleveland Browns star was asked if commissioner Roger Goodell should be kept around, given his questionable handling of some of the NFL's biggest controversies over the past few years.

"No, if I was a player, I wouldn't," said Thomas. "I would put somebody in charge - but this is a player's standpoint, if the players were running the league it would be silly - but if I was a player, certainly I think the mistakes he's made with his discipline in 'Deflategate,' his discipline in the Ray Rice situation where he disciplined him and then when the PR was bad on the NFL they went back and they threw the book at him and now he's not in the league.

"You look at the Saints' 'Bountygate' - I played with Scott Fujita who was kind of wrapped up in that thing - which I thought was handled poorly on Roger's behalf. Disciplining some of the Saints' players for doing something that the whole league had been doing and disciplining them as steeply as he did was not fair. ... It's almost like the approach that he took was, 'We're going to try to crucify one person so that everybody gets the message.' And I don't know if that's the best way to run your league.

"So if I was a player, I would remove him. But nobody cares what I think."

Thomas has spoken negatively of Goodell before, mocking him for making a quick exit from the New England Patriots' recent Super Bowl celebration due to how his suspension of Tom Brady was received by that team's fans. Despite his own displeasure with the commissioner, Thomas understands why Goodell is still employed.

"If I was an owner, I would love Roger Goodell because he has taken every single bullet from the NFL that's come their way," said Thomas. "He's been compensated handsomely for it. He's made an incredible amount of money and revenue (for the NFL). He was able to leverage the players and win some significant concessions from the players in the last bargaining agreement."

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox