NFL’s ruling in Browns investigation could legalize tanking

Editor’s note: This is an opinion piece based on information uncovered in Sports Illustrated‘s research into Hue Jackson’s claims that he was incentivized to lose games while he was head coach of the Browns.

In the footnote section of a letter NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote to Browns owner Jimmy Haslam upon the conclusion of the league’s investigation into Hue Jackson’s tanking allegations this week, Goodell wrote (emphasis mine): “There is no merit to the suggestion that offering incentives to win a certain number of games violates Article 9.1(C)(8) of the NFL Constitution and Bylaws, which prohibits bonuses to coaches for individual winning games against particular opponents.”


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