The topic is in the news a lot of late, what with the suspensions, the appeals, and the ubiquitous "Roger Bashing"....but what gets lost in here is the bigger picture.
While this is about football, its not at all about football.
The Justice Department made it clear to Goodell during the "Spygate" Patriots deal that he MUST always take definitive action and he MUST NOT destroy evidence when something comes up that challeneges the game on a level that transcends football.
This is one such case. What you have here is essentially an organized form of gambling. Sure maybe its small potatoes, but it has some potential bearing on the outcome of a game, which may impact integrity. You had a convicted felon somehow involved. The gambling occured across state lines, which may be construed as the dreaded racketeering. It was institutiuonalized, because several key members of the Saints organization were aware of it, and even involved. It violated key provisions of the old and new CBA, And of course, none of this money was ever claimed as income to the IRS.
If the DoJ decided that they wanted to be involved, this could get really ugly, so the commish is doing everything to prevent it. He must have something on the players he suspended doing "something" (from handling money to accepting it to talking with the felon).
What surprises me is that Drew Brees is taking none of the heat. He's a key memeber of the NFLPA and knows better than anyone that this against the CBA rules, and its hard to believe he didn't know anything was going on - or didn't say anything.....or then again, maybe he did....
So, yes, player safety is important, and you don't want anyone injuring another player. But to the powers that be in the NFL, that's not what this is about. This is about the feds sniffing in their business and perhaps stepping in and taking some of the implied anti-trust away. Or worse.