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NFL: Jones punishment isn’t a fine, it’s reimbursement for legal fees

Dallas Cowboys v San Diego Chargers

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Dallas Cowboys owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones looks on prior to the start of the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on September 29, 2013 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

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The failing New York Times has apparently written an inaccurate story about Commissioner Roger Goodell fining Cowboys owner Jerry Jones multiple millions of dollars. Sad!

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports (i.e., the NFL announces) that Jones will be required to pay $2 million in reimbursement for legal fees, not as a fine for conduct detrimental to the league. (Rapoport’s report came after he initially confirmed/corroborated the notion that Jones will be fined.)

The report from Ken Belson of the New York Times mentioned the issue of reimbursement for fees, but the article plainly stated that Goodell will fine Jones “millions of dollars” by declaring that Jones’ conduct was “detrimental to the league.”

Belson’s article separately mentions that Jones will be required to pay the legal fees incurred by the NFL, both from the threat of litigation Jones made in connection with the extension of Goodell’s contract and, surprisingly, in connection with the NFL’s defense of the decision to suspend Ezekiel Elliott. This means that the league has decided to take the position that Jones and/or his team had sufficient involvement in the effort to defeat the suspension to justify a request for reimbursement of fees.

Whether Jones has a viable defense to the effort, or a mechanism for pursuing it, remains to be seen. Either way, it appears the he won’t be getting fined, but that he’ll still be forking over plenty of money to the league as a result of his effort to derail two of 345 Park Avenue’s the major agenda items from 2017.