Jerry Jones isn’t one to shy away from controversial topics. During an owners-only session at the NFL’s owners’ meetings in Phoenix last week, he said he’d like the league to reconsider its stance on marijuana use by players, and he wishes the NFL would ease up on its approach to investigating off-field incidents.
During the owners-only meeting — which is unusual during this event, but not completely unheard of — Jones addressed the group and said that he wants the league to stop disciplining players who test positive for marijuana, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
Currently, marijuana is a banned substance under the league’s substance abuse policy in the current collective bargaining agreement. The owners can’t just decide to stop punishing players for marijuana use, and neither can the NFL. Any change to this rule would have to be incorporated into the next collective bargaining agreement.
Three Dallas Cowboys defenders — Rolando McClain, Demarcus Lawrence, and Randy Gregory — faced suspensions for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse last season. Gregory is facing a full year suspension for another violation.
Jones also said he wants the league to ease up its approach to investigating player misconduct off the field. Now, the league investigates players accused of a crime regardless of whether the player faces charges. Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is still under investigation for domestic violence accusations lobbied against him last year, though law enforcement did not move forward with charges.
A league source indicated to Florio that the NFL is committed “to pursuing investigations that are relevant and meaningful, and that the league office always looks to be efficient when conducting investigations.”
The other topic of conversation was Roger Goodell’s contract, and Jones urged all the owners in the league to be involved in that renegotiation process. The Compensation Committee handles Goodell’s contract, but apparently some owners think Goodell makes too much money, and Jones encouraged everyone to be a part of the process.
If the owners want to make changes for the next iteration of the CBA, this is the time to start the process. The current collective bargaining agreement was established in August 2011, and it will expire in 2020.