Roger Goodell getting fired? While unlikely, resignation is more realistic

Ownership sources don't see a scenario that would result in Roger Goodell being fired.  (USATSI)
While unlikely, Roger Goodell could decide to walk away from the NFL. (USATSI)

The public statements by NFL ownership groups continue to mirror what these owners are saying to one another and in private. Namely that their support of Roger Goodell, even in this time of great crisis, with the Ray Rice investigation launched, is firm, and few scenarios exist in which that would significantly change.

Numerous league sources who have had direct conversations with Goodell continue to say he never viewed the video of Rice striking his wife until it hit the Internet. Would that be proven to be untrue, or would Goodell be found to have actively cooperated in a cover-up by the investigation, ownership sources have said that would be cause for a termination vote. But, if anything, there is more concern among those at the top of NFL teams that Goodell himself might resign given the public backlash coming out against him.

Don't get me wrong: Goodell leaving his position is a remote possibility at best from what I gather. Additionally, he has told several confidants resigning is not something he'd entertain. But when compared to the notion of him getting fired by the owners, which is a non-starter barring overwhelmingly damning evidence emerging, it's seen as the more possible of the two.

"If anything, they're more concerned with Roger saying, '(forget) this,' and leaving than they are with having to relieve him of his duties," said one league source who has discussed the issue with multiple ownership groups.

While some in the media and the public have called for Goodell's ouster, it's not very likely. There has been no backlash from sponsors and Goodell's constituents -- the 32 that truly matter -- are in his corner. League sources anticipate this investigation ultimately having strong consequences for some in NFL Security and other corridors of the NFL office, but the odds of it reaching Goodell, based on what is known to this point, seem remote.

CBS Sports Insider

Before joining CBS Sports, Jason La Canfora was the Washington Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post for six years and served as NFL Network's insider. The Baltimore native can be seen every Sunday... Full Bio

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