The best evidence that Raiders defensive assistant Randy Hanson’s jaw has healed?
He’s using it. A lot.
After giving a lengthy interview to Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports last week, Hanson has now responded to recent reports and comments regarding the situation.
First, in the wake of our report that the three assistants in the room did not corroborate Hanson’s version of the events that unfolded between himself and coach Tom Cable, Hanson tells Yahoo! Sports that he’s willing to take a lie detector test — and he has offered to pay for Cable to take one, too.
Second, in response to a suggestion from former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski that Hanson is using drugs, Hanson tells Yahoo! Sports that he’s willing to take a drug test — and he has offered to pay for Cable to take one, too.
But here’s the most important aspect of the new Yahoo! Sports report from Silver and Jason Cole. Despite Silver’s prior report, citing an unnamed source that likely was Hanson or his lawyer, that the assistant coaches corroborated Hanson’s story, Yahoo! Sports now reports that, based on the statements from the assistant coaches, the case against Cable is “really iffy.”
“There was a touching that, under the law, might be considered not good
for Cable,” the source told Yahoo! Sports. “There was a confrontation. Hanson
tumbled over. . . . Part of the issue is, what does ‘push’ mean. Somebody
invaded his space. It’s real weak. No choking. No pushing him up
against the wall. He grabbed him by the shirt front and yelled at him.”
Hanson’s lawyer, John McGuinn, shrugs his shoulders at this stunning contradiction of his client’s claims, saying that it’s “still assault.”
Maybe. But it’s not felony assault. And it’s arguably not even misdemeanor assault.
It still might be civil assault, however. And that might be enough to fend off a possible lawsuit against Hanson by Cable for defamation, since Hanson could file a counterclaim against Cable for causing his broken jaw through an intentional touching that caused a potentially unintended outcome.
And now McGuinn is applying extra pressure to the Napa authorities considering whether to prosecute Cable, or McGuinn possibly is beginning to stomp on sour grapes.
“They are going to try to think of every excuse they can not to
prosecute [Cable] because they don’t want to lose the business,”
McGuinn said. “The city of Napa police department and the [county] DA’s
office are dragging their feet as much as they can. If this thing would
go away, they would love it. There’s no question about it.”
Or maybe — and here’s a novel thought — the prosecutor is trying to do the right thing. Or maybe the prosecutors is resisting a rush to prosecute because they sense that McGuinn and Hanson are trying to hard to obtain a major piece of leverage that can be used against Cable and the Raiders to finagle a seven-figure settlement.
And while it’s possible that the three assistant coaches have slanted their stories to help their employer, the reality is that good lawyers can develop inconsistencies between multiple versions that suggest intentional untruthfulness — and good lawyers can sense when there seems to have been too much effort to get stories straight.
Good lawyers also are at least a little suspicious of whether a person who might be motivated by the sound of an old-school cash register possibly has supplied, initially on an off-the-record basis and later on the record, a string of inconsistent accounts.
Here, the first reports were that Cable punched Hanson. Then, there was a suggestion that he hit his head against a filing cabinet. Finally, Hanson said that he was pushed out of a chair and hit his head on a table.
From the perspective of the criminal case, the ultimate question is whether a jury would find guilt on Cable’s part beyond a reasonable doubt. And it appears that the prosecutor is concerned that a conviction might be too hard to get.
It also appears that prosecutor might be concerned that he’s getting played by a lawyer who, like Jackie Chiles and the cigarette companies, has always wanted a piece of the Raiders.