Well, the commissioner has spoken – and his ruling has been upheld.
The NFL has suspended Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson without pay for the remainder of the 2014 season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The league claims that Peterson, who appeared in only one game this season, has “shown no meaningful remorse” for assaulting his 4-year-old son earlier this year. Peterson, who will appeal the decision, cannot apply for reinstatement until at least April 15, 2015.
In other words, the NFL is going to be the gift that keeps on giving in terms of offseason headlines – and negative headlines, at that.
“You joke when you say (it’s) the gift that keeps on giving, but it’s sort of like the headache that keeps morphing, as far as I’m concerned, certainly for the NFL,” We Need to Talk panelist Andrea Kremer said on The MoJo Show. “Because these issues are not going away any time soon. And now we know for a fact that (the) Adrian Peterson (saga) is going to linger, linger, linger, certainly throughout the offseason. But these are very complicated issues, and none of them – none of these issues – are going away any time soon.”
Is it possible that Roger Goodell dropped the hammer on Peterson because he dropped the ball on Ray Rice?
“Look, I don’t think there’s any doubt that the first domino to fall was the initial Ray Rice decision for him to be suspended for only two games,” Kremer said. “That started it. There’s so many what-ifs that you could do, but that’s the first one, as far as I’m concerned. Ever since then, it has changed so much. It’s the biggest off-the-field changes since I’ve been covering the league – and that’s (been) for several decades.”
Yes, it appears the personal conduct policy is in complete flux right now.
“We have yet to hear what it’s going to be with all the various advisors,” Kremer said, “particularly (from) a lot of female advisors that have been added to the fray for the NFL.”
As Kremer explained, the NFL amended its personal conduct policy in August, saying that there would be a mandatory six-game suspension for domestic violence, among other offenses. Additionally, the commissioner could take more serious actions beyond that at his discretion.
“Peterson is falling into that category, even though what he did is not considered domestic violence,” Kremer said. “But the assault factor is (present), and that’s where the six games comes from.”
The NFL is saying, in essence, that Peterson’s time on the exempt list – nine games –does not count as time served. Thus, the remaining six games he will miss this season are a completely separate suspension under the personal conduct policy.
While many people expect Peterson to be reinstated next spring, it appears we’ll have to wait and see just what the league decides.
“I hate to say it, guys,” Kremer said. “In a way, the NFL is making it up as they go along.”