Henderson decision may not be coming today (surprise)

AP

As the NFL prepares to go to court to argue for the dismissal of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott‘s lawsuit on the basis that it was filed before his suspension was finalized, his suspension possibly will not be finalized before the court hearing begins.

And all that that implies.

The NFL has announced (again, any “report” from a reporter employed by the league on league matters will from now on be regarded in this space as an announcement) that arbitrator Harold Henderson possibly will not make his decision on Elliott’s appeal on Tuesday, due to the “volume of material.” And this causes me to suspect the existence of a certain volume of material. Brown in color and smelly in fragrance.

Some (including me) wonder whether the league has told Henderson to stand down, so that the league can go to court at 6:00 p.m. ET and argue that the dispute isn’t ripe because the ruling hasn’t been issued. If the ruling is issued before then, the judge could easily say to the league’s lawyers, “Your argument is moot.”

The first whiff of what’s to come came earlier today, when the NFL put out the word (again, announced) that the longstanding practice of finalizing player suspensions by 4:00 p.m. ET on a Tuesday is not a rule, per se. This allows the NFL to: (1) argue that Elliott’s lawsuit should be dismissed because the suspension isn’t final; (2) finalize the suspension after the hearing; and (3) implement it immediately.

And then there are Steps No. 4, 5, and 6: Prepare their own lawsuit aimed at enforcing the suspension for filing in federal court in Manhattan, instruct Henderson to let them know precisely when he’s applying his signature to the decision letter, and win the race to the courthouse.

42 responses to “Henderson decision may not be coming today (surprise)

  1. If ANY of this happens or is true, this proof that Harold Henderson and this whole appeal process is not at all independent. Henderson should be independent of the NFL and allowed to hand down his decision when he is ready and NOT when the NFL tells him. My hate for this league is growing by the minute!

  2. When Roger heard writers saying he couldn’t have screwed this up more if he tried he just laughed and said “watch this”

  3. It’s a matter of who has better lawyers who know how to play the game and it looks like Zeke got some pretty bad advice on how to play this game.
    Apparently his lawyers are not the best line in the NFL like he’s use to having in front of him.

  4. “independent”, my fanny. If the NFL tells Henderson to delay his ruling and Henderson listens, then that tells you everything you need to know.

    The NFL knew this was going to be high profile, and they knew it would be under intense scrutiny, how do they not have everything perfect? The NFL pooping the bed on this case is a clear indication that Rodger is in over his head.

  5. NFL and this “Independent arbitrator” is completely FALSE! They conspired with each other and the NFL process on disciplinary actions are comical. They are using this for ratings….very sad yet foreseeable.

  6. wow we just went 12 post without a pats fan crying about how Roger screwed brady. lets keep it going!

  7. dblack25 says:
    September 5, 2017 at 4:27 pm
    Two words: “collectively bargained”. Have a seat Mr. Elliott, for the next 6 weeks.

    ********************************************************************
    He may indeed have a seat eventually….but if I didnt do something as bad as what he is accused of….i’d fight it until there was nothing left to fight. Problem is….its becoming more and more clear that they started with a presumption of guilt and worked backwards….this was made clear when they ignored the recommendation of the lead investigator who was the ONLY one who talked to Zeke and Thompson and didnt believe Thompson and recommended no suspension….it didnt fit Goodell’s agenda!

  8. Never underestimate the ability of the NFL to take any scenario or situation and make sure that they come out looking worse than any of the individuals involved. Like everyone else here I don’t know what happened between Elliot and his ex. What I do know from both of their behavior is that they have operated with an immense amount of immaturity with a dash of entitlement. They are young and dumb. That doesn’t mean the behavior should be excused, indeed young people should be held accountable so that they don’t become old and dumb. But what is the leagues excuse for the incredibly dumb way that this was handled? Hubris? Or are the people now running the league old and dumb because they were never held accountable when they were young and dumb?

  9. the league should show up at court and say that arbiter as indicated their are just so many variables in this admittedly drug fueled relationship to render an opinion at this time with Mr Elliott’s other transgressions (Mardi Gras,speeding ,knocking out bouncer.) we feel it best to not go forward this suspension and move Mr Elliot to the Commissioner’s exempt list . so we can completely vet this and render a just decision.

  10. Frankly, I think it’s the other way around. Rather than the judge finding the NFL’s dismissal call to be moot if the arbitration ruling were announced in time, I think the judge would determine that the NFLPA’s preliminary ruling was justified given how much the process has dragged on. It sure appears that the NFL intentionally pushed everything close to the regular season in order to prevent proceedings from having their due course, and given that the courts by the “irreparable harm” of a player not being able to play, it follows that a judge would side with the player here too, avoiding any chance of him suffering said irreparable harm.

  11. At the end of the day it really doesn’t matter a great deal how this all turns out. Based on his previous and current pattern of behaviour it is only a matter of time before Elliott screws up again.

  12. dkeucd says:
    September 5, 2017 at 4:39 pm
    I’m not a lawyer or anything but won’t the judge see this and wonder what the hell is going on with the NFL?
    †***************************

    This hearing is on the Motion to Dismiss I believe. The Judge will only go on with what is before him. This isn’t the venue to decide the whole case and he won’t even look at that in depth. Only what was presented in the motions for this hearing.

  13. dkeucd says:
    September 5, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    I’m not a lawyer or anything but won’t the judge see this and wonder what the hell is going on with the NFL?
    ——————

    If they haven’t seen it by now, then justice truly is blind, but not in the good way.

  14. dkeucd says:
    September 5, 2017 at 4:39 pm
    I’m not a lawyer or anything but won’t the judge see this and wonder what the hell is going on with the NFL?

    ***************************************************
    Here is how this plays out…..

    – At 6 pm central time, the judge will agree with the NFL and kick out the NFLPA injunction.
    – As soon as the court in Manhattan is open for business tomorrow, the NFL files he necessary paperwork to ensure all legal battles going forward are fought in that court.
    – Simultaneously, Harold Henderson will announce he is upholding the 6 game suspension.
    – The NFL will then announce the suspension begins immediately, thus Zeke will be out for Sunday’s Giants game…..the Mara family will be victorious.

    We are about to find out in a few hours if the judge in Texas is a Cowboys fan or not and rejects the NFL’s motion to reject the NFLPA’s injunction. I have a feeling that is the only thing that can save Elliott now.

    I think its pretty obvious to everyone at this point that Harold Henderson is merely acting on Goodell’s behalf and will coordinate everything with the NFL to ensure the NFL wins this.

  15. unclmikl says:
    September 5, 2017 at 4:44 pm
    the league should show up at court and say that arbiter as indicated their are just so many variables in this admittedly drug fueled relationship to render an opinion at this time with Mr Elliott’s other transgressions (Mardi Gras,speeding ,knocking out bouncer.) we feel it best to not go forward this suspension and move Mr Elliot to the Commissioner’s exempt list . so we can completely vet this and render a just decision.

    *****************************************************************
    Nice story bro….only problem is that the league has already been clear on this….the St. Patricks parade, the speeding ticket (I guess we are punishing players for speeding now) and the DJ incident (you really need to brush up on the the specifics you are citing)….were NOT part of their decision to suspend Elliott…..so for them to come back NOW and uses those for some other avenue to suspend him would only invite more litigation.

  16. I believe the NFL discipline policy is one sided and I don’t blame the NFLPA for saying it’s unfair. I believe a bunch of really smart people represented the NFLPA and this is part of a collectively bargained for deal the players agreed to. I believe most players don’t care now and won’t care next time around because they either won’t be in the league or don’t get in trouble and have to deal with this. I also believe every time this comes up and the NFLPA gets bent out of shape, it amounts to nothing more than the NFLPA whining that it made a bad deal.

  17. Just out of curiosity, what are the consequences if a player doesn’t follow through with the suspension ? Are there going to be armed guards from the NFL to make sure Elliott doesn’t show up at the game or anything ? Goodell going to take draft picks ? Dismiss the Cowboys from the league ? It would be interesting to see a player defy the league and the team backs him up, what’s Goodell going to do ? The Cowboys are worth 4 billion dollars, so a fine wouldn’t do much.

  18. League has opened an investigation into the sexual assault claims against Michael Irvin. Think the Goodell is not drunk with power now? He is not even a player and the case ended in no charges. This comes to light today?

  19. I would love to see the Judge haul Henderson into court and ask him under oath a) who he has spoken to at the league office and b) Did they instruct him not to deliver a ruling until after the court hearing today…
    Does it even matter? Article 46 says Goodell can do whatever he wants……unfortunately….

  20. murphyjr1031 says:
    September 5, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    League has opened an investigation into the sexual assault claims against Michael Irvin. Think the Goodell is not drunk with power now? He is not even a player and the case ended in no charges. This comes to light today?
    ———————-

    That’s their backup plan.

    Quite frankly, they never should have hired the bozo in the first place.

  21. The independent arbitrator can’t issue his ruling the league says it’s ok?

    As mentioned here before many times, It is amazing how NOT independent the arbitrator is!

    The next player strike can’t come soon enough. Move to all 2-3 year fully guaranteed contracts, and the nfl should get out of the investigation business. They should just contract it out to whomever Peyton Manning uses.

  22. Henderson is a part time contractor for the NFL. They have hired him for several projects.

    Independent? LMAO

  23. Two words: “collectively bargained”. Have a seat Mr. Elliott, for the next 6 weeks.

    ********************************************************************
    He may indeed have a seat eventually….but if I didnt do something as bad as what he is accused of….i’d fight it until there was nothing left to fight. Problem is….its becoming more and more clear that they started with a presumption of guilt and worked backwards….this was made clear when they ignored the recommendation of the lead investigator who was the ONLY one who talked to Zeke and Thompson and didnt believe Thompson and recommended no suspension….it didnt fit Goodell’s agenda!

    Don’t try to reason with the hater from Philly, Washington,NY. Logic doesn’t matter. He just wants the competition crippled. He is right to be scared.

  24. dblack25 says:
    September 5, 2017 at 4:27 pm
    Two words: “collectively bargained”. Have a seat Mr. Elliott, for the next 6 weeks.

    I don’t think there is anything in the CBA about league orchestrated conspiracies

  25. Please explain why the NFL would have a grand conspiracy against one of its biggest stars. I’ll wait.

    Like it or not, the NFLPA agreed to these rules, while the media demanded that the NFL punish domestic violence cases severely. The NFL, attempting the make up for its previous mistakes, no doubt concerned about optics, made the decision that everyone demanded for the likes of Greg Hardy and Ray Rice.

    This could’ve happened to any player caught up in this sort of thing, but it’s the direct result of activists, media outlets, and fans that demanded the NFL wade into the messy personal lives of players.

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