Player arrests are on the rise in the NFL, and Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn't deny the league has a serious issue on its hands.
Goodell met with NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith last week, discussing what can be done to rein in the bad behavior that's given the league a black eye in the offseason. There have been 48 arrests this year, up from 44 in 2011 and 42 in 2010.
"We are going to do some things to combat this problem because some of the numbers on DUIs and domestic violence are going up and that disturbs me," Goodell said, via Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com. "When there's a pattern of mistakes, something has got to change."
Goodell has met with the union and spoken with players about potential solutions. The NFL's focus at this time is on drinking and driving and domestic violence. The preliminary plan is to strengthen existing policies and possibly add new ones. This would take a helping hand from the union, hardly a given considering the difficult recent history between the two sides.
"We've had some really good discussions with the union," Goodell said. "Now we just have to see if we can carry through with them."
We shouldn't assume the NFL and union will easily harmonize on any issue, but this seems to be a situation where both sides want the same thing. Whether or not stiffer football penalties will actually curb DUIs and domestic violence is a separate conversation altogether.