10/03/2014 04:18 pm ET Updated Oct 03, 2014

Chris Johnson: NFL Players Think Roger Goodell 'Had Access' To Ray Rice Tape

Former Baltimore Ravens cornerback Chris Johnson doesn’t believe Roger Goodell’s story, and he says there aren't many NFL players who do.

The NFL commissioner came under fire for the short two-day suspension with which Ray Rice was originally reprimanded after a video tape surfaced showing the former football player punching his wife.

Goodell has remained steadfast about not seeing the Ray Rice elevator footage, but in an interview with HuffPost Live on Friday, Johnson questioned his honesty. In fact, when host Marc Lamont Hill asked if other NFL players believed that the commissioner had not seen the tape, Johnson answered with a resounding no.

“He has [a] $42 million reason to cover up his behind. ... If he wanted to get that tape, he had access to get that tape,” Johnson said. “No matter what he had to go through to get it.”

As Johnson put it, the media hurricane that followed the release of the video is what eventually provided the impetus for Goodell to act.

“Once the media sees the tape, now the media’s pushing you to do a little bit more, and now you’re trying to cover up what you should have done from the get-go,” he said.

With Goodell’s botched handling of the Ray Rice case, Johnson said it’s time for the NFL to find new leadership.

“The NFL is a way bigger thing than Roger Goodell,” Johnson said. “So I think, moving forward, to have a better brand, also to have another leader, I think they need to go in another direction, as far as trying to find someone that can come in and put these programs in right now, not put programs in as something happens.”

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with former NFL player Chris Johnson here.

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