At a time when many believe that the NFL should hold Colts owner Jim Irsay to a higher standard than players, there’s a chance that will indeed happen.
Irsay has been charged with one count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and one count of operating a vehicle with a controlled substance or its metabolite in the body. The standard penalty for players charged with an offense of that nature is a two-game fine.
Don’t be surprised if Irsay ultimately is suspended. It’s also possible that he’ll be suspended by the league even before his legal case is resolved; for players charged with similar offenses, discipline isn’t imposed until the litigation ends.
A potential suspension raises key financial questions. When a player is suspended, he loses his salary. What does an owner loses financially?
With the league limiting fines to $500,000 but applying no such restriction to wages lost in a suspension, perhaps the only way to impose a fair penalty on an owner is to suspend him, which would absorb the cash they he’d otherwise pocket during the term of his banishment.