In addressing the Tyreek Hill situation on Saturday, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt explained in very pragmatic terms the reality that any player acquisition entails “some element of risk.” When it comes to players like 2016 fifth-round draft pick Tyreek Hill, it’s time for the NFL to raise the stakes.
The only way for NFL to encourage teams to more prudently use current draft picks when considering players with off-field red flags will be to implement a system for seizing future draft picks, if that red flag becomes a full-blown storm.
More than four years ago, the league considered the possibility of taking draft picks from teams whose players violate the Personal Conduct Policy.
“What level of accountability should be expected of clubs?” Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote to the league’s owners in October 2014. “Is the current Salary Remittance Program sufficient, or should additional measures be considered?”
The Salary Remittance Program entails a system of fines for teams who have multiple players suspended in a given year. And the Salary Remittance Program doesn’t work, since it’s like a traffic ticket. Taking draft picks would be more like seizing the car.
“Nothing else will work, because there always will be an owner, a G.M., or a coach who won’t be able to resist the upside,” we wrote in 2013, after Aaron Hernandez was arrested for murder. “Make the downside more significant, and teams will start…