Elliott suspension could begin Week Three, at the earliest

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As the NFL tries to pull the plug on the ruling that pulls the plug on the suspension of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, the appeals court could be plugging in the process of giving the league a ruling as soon as next week.

Per a league source, the NFL believes that a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit staying the preliminary injunction blocking the suspension could happen by early next week. This would mean that Elliott, if the league wins, would begin to serve his six-game suspension as of Week Three (when the Cowboys facing the Cardinals on a Monday night), with the ability to continue to challenge the suspension in court. Though he’d be paid for the games he’d miss if successful, he’d likely miss the six games.

The NFL sees three potential scenarios, as the case progresses to the Fifth Circuit, viewing each as having reasonable prospects of occurring. First, the Fifth Circuit could quickly stay the injunction, having the suspension commence as soon as next week. Second, the Fifth Circuit could consider the appeal of the injunction on an expedited basis, which would delay the start of the suspension (if the NFL prevails on the appeal) deeper into the season. Third, the Fifth Circuit could consider the appeal in the normal course of business, which as a practical matter would allow Elliott to play for the full season, given the usual time frames for resolving cases on appeal.

The league sees the second option as a compromise, and thus as possibly a bit more likely than the other two. This would delay the suspension to a later point of the season, starting maybe a month from now or later. In theory, it could impact Elliott’s availability for the postseason.

The NFL’s overriding goal seems to be immediately putting in front of the appeals court not the question of whether the injunction is appropriate but whether the entire case is appropriate. The league believes that the Texas federal court lacks jurisdiction over the dispute, for multiple reasons: The NFL believes that Elliott filed the case too early, and that the case should be handled by a federal court in New York. With the Texas judge still considering that issue, the appeal of the injunction adroitly provides, as a practical matter, a way to get the issue of jurisdiction before the appeals court even before the Texas judge rules on that question.

However the legal process plays out, it’s clear that the NFL intends to push this issue aggressively, because the NFL believes that the Texas court lacks jurisdiction, and because the league believes it can achieve a slam-dunk victory if/when the case ends up out of Texas and in New York, where the outcome of the Tom Brady case would represent what the lawyers call “binding precedent,” mandating (in theory) the New York court to quickly affirm the suspension.

44 responses to “Elliott suspension could begin Week Three, at the earliest

  1. At this point it’s obvious that this is personal to goodell they seen what the boys could do to his beloved giants and now he’s pulling out all the stops to keep us out of the big game as he has for more than a decade now what a worm

  2. Is the NFL a law enforcement agency? No? I didnt think so. Is Zeke a free man, not found guilty of anything by the police? Yes? Then he should be free to play. And Roger, we want to see these guys play, its bad enough already that we cant see exciting guys like Martavis B or Josh Gordon because of damn weed

  3. That the NFL carries on like they have done nothing wrong is the most frustrating part of these proceedings.

    Show some integrity for once and accept that you blew it.

  4. Guys, it is less about conspiracy relative to providing a benefit and power to a preferred TEAM, and more … far more… about providing benefit and power the preferred office, namely that of the Commissioner. In short, Goodell is not trying to lift the Giants and screw the Cowboys, he is trying to lift the Office of the Commissioner and screw the NFLPA. The results of which will of course hurt the ‘boys (Zeke is special), but we fans tend to take league actions personally (See Deflategate), when really ALL of Goodell’s actions are about demonstrating and enhancing his power.

  5. Ironically the NFL has been laughed out of court everywhere outside of NY. It’s no wonder they are trying so hard for the precedence angle. They better hope it ends up in NY given their track record everywhere else. Maybe Doty will move to NY just in time to hear this case.

  6. The NFL lost in New York last time, so why would a judge up there find them any less guilty of lying, withholding evidence/testimony, and not allowing Elliott to question Thompson or Goodell?

  7. vicnocal says:
    September 14, 2017 at 3:03 pm
    Is the NFL a law enforcement agency? No? I didnt think so. Is Zeke a free man, not found guilty of anything by the police? Yes? Then he should be free to play. And Roger, we want to see these guys play, its bad enough already that we cant see exciting guys like Martavis B or Josh Gordon because of damn weed

    ————

    When will you people understand that this is not a legal issue?

  8. If you work for a Catholic school, and they find out you’ve gotten a divorce, or are living with someone who is not your spouse, you lose your job. There is no recourse. You have not a leg to stand on legally.

    Fair? Probably not. But when you took the job, you signed on to abide by the policy. And that’s it.

    The NFL is the same deal. If you work for them, you agree to abide by their rules and standard.

    Elliott may be suspended in three weeks. Or Elliot may end up playing the entire season.

    But rest assured: Elliot will serve this suspension at some point. No question about it.

  9. I’m certain there are a number of issues much more important to our country than this personal vendetta hearing. Frankly as taxpayers we should be outraged if this case is pushed to the top of the pile. Either way, what an absolutely embarrassing series of events for the NFL.

  10. Nfl will not win this. Their argument is not cause to expedite the case nor stay the injunction. Judge Mazzant’s opinion was too strong to indicate any of the aforementioned scenerios, except that the nfl must sit and wait for the trial.

  11. There’s no chance the 5th circuit will intervene this early. Texas is an appropriate forum since the NFL does business there. The circuit court will let the case develop since whoever loses in the district court will appeal. So this interlocutory appeal by the league will fail because the case isn’t ripe.

  12. Reading this makes my head hurt. Seriously. Guessing and what if this or that is silly. Only the haters and Cowboy fans understand this beyond “well, another football player beat up a woman and is getting away with it because he is a star player for the Cowboys, what else is new?” I dont know if he did anything, but from everything that we, as the public fanc find out, Tiffany is a grifter, they had a toxic relationship, and Elliott needs to grwo up and grow up fast. That is what I know. Nothing he had done warrants 6 games, unless he punched her and beat her up, which there seems to be zero evidence he did.

  13. sportoficionado says:
    September 14, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Nfl will not win this. Their argument is not cause to expedite the case nor stay the injunction. Judge Mazzant’s opinion was too strong to indicate any of the aforementioned scenerios, except that the nfl must sit and wait for the trial.

    ********

    Sporto,

    You may be right, BUT *ONLY* if the judge in the higher court agrees with your opinion. My opinion is that given recent history in similar cases, Goodell will prevail and Zeke will be suspended. The Cowboys would be wise to have him serve the suspension sooner rather than later, as the deeper into the season we go, the greater the consequences.

    If he serves the suspension starting week 3, the boys will only face 1 NFC east foe…Washington. If he starts to serve the suspension in week 5, they will face the Eagles without Zeke in week 10. If he starts serving in week 7 he will lose THREE NFC East games (Eagles, Washington and Giants). No, the ‘boys should let Roger have his power grab for their own good.

  14. The main sticking point for Elliot as far as the Texas judge will be that they filed early – even before Henderson completed his arbitration proceeding. But, who can fault the Elliot team for jumping first after what the league did to Brady. The league couldn’t wait to rush to the courts, a favorable one mind you in NY, and get their case into motion. But regardless of that fact, it will come down to the CBA and Elliot will lose because the dumb NFLPA gave Goodell all the power. I do wonder though why the NFLPA hasn’t taken this to the NLRB and state their case there. Seems they would have a fairer shot at winning with the NLRB than any federal court.

  15. TheCommish says:
    September 14, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    If you work for a Catholic school, and they find out you’ve gotten a divorce, or are living with someone who is not your spouse, you lose your job. There is no recourse. You have not a leg to stand on legally.
    ———————–

    How about if they fired you because some gal said you divorced her, even though you had never been married? Would you have a legal leg to stand on there? Would you fight it, or would you just shrug your shoulders and take it like a man?

  16. Mara family, Goodell, and Lisa Friel were angry that the Cowboys beat their Giants last Sunday, hence the reason they’re pursuing this so aggressively. I still want to know why Josh Brown got 1 game and Elliott got 6. I mean, I know why, I just want to hear it publicly.

  17. robertlseverson says:
    September 14, 2017 at 3:06 pm
    Guys, it is less about conspiracy relative to providing a benefit and power to a preferred TEAM, and more … far more… about providing benefit and power the preferred office, namely that of the Commissioner. In short, Goodell is not trying to lift the Giants and screw the Cowboys, he is trying to lift the Office of the Commissioner and screw the NFLPA. The results of which will of course hurt the ‘boys (Zeke is special), but we fans tend to take league actions personally (See Deflategate), when really ALL of Goodell’s actions are about demonstrating and enhancing his power.
    ========================
    It’s hard to argue the Giants don’t get preferential treatment. Despite it being about lifting the office of the Comissioner to screw the NFLPA. Quite simply, legislate the screw job evenly across every team.

  18. mmack66 says:
    September 14, 2017 at 3:52 pm
    TheCommish says:
    September 14, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    If you work for a Catholic school, and they find out you’ve gotten a divorce, or are living with someone who is not your spouse, you lose your job. There is no recourse. You have not a leg to stand on legally.
    ———————–

    How about if they fired you because some gal said you divorced her, even though you had never been married? Would you have a legal leg to stand on there? Would you fight it, or would you just shrug your shoulders and take it like a man?

    **********

    mmac66,

    Presumably, no public or private entity would be so foolish as to fire a person on the basis of an accusation. There WOULD BE investigation of the accusation prior to any punitive action; especially dismissal of an employee. In your scenario, it would easily be determined via public records that the accuser was lying, hence no employee punishment.

    Now, if the school was foolish enough to enact your scenario, of course the fired employee would fight it and win back his job.

    But this is not even germane to the issue at hand. Goodell is trying to uphold and increase the power of his office relative to the NFLPA, and is not commenting on the legal status of Zeke.

  19. I think the only real solution here is to treat it like every other case.

    Regardless of anyone’s rooting interest or its status as a case involving a season schedule, it should not receive special treatment.

  20. If I were Elliott, I’d do the time now and get it over with. No doubt he’s going to get suspended at some point.
    Better to miss games now than possibly missing playoff games.

  21. The only thing that’s obvious to me is there will most likely be a bitter fight during the next CBA, and the fans will ultimately lose by having to watch bad replacement football.

  22. If the NFL were smart, they would have told their man Henderson to wipe out the suspension. Clearly the league has been exposed by not letting their lead investigator be in on the suspension decision. She did not reach the conclusion the league wanted, so therefore her findings were excluded. The league could have shrugged it off and had the position that they are tough on DV, Henderson could look like he’s not always in Roger’s pocket by siding with the player, and one of the leagues brightest young stars wouldn’t miss any TV time.

    If I were Zeke, I’d sue the league for slander. How can you just slap the “abuser” label on him without any evidence AND your lead investigator even said he was innocent. This is ridiculous.

  23. robertlseverson says:
    September 14, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Presumably, no public or private entity would be so foolish as to fire a person on the basis of an accusation. There WOULD BE investigation of the accusation prior to any punitive action; especially dismissal of an employee. In your scenario, it would easily be determined via public records that the accuser was lying, hence no employee punishment.
    ——————-

    Ezekial Elliott was accused of domestic abuse..

    The NFL investigated the accusation.

    Public records prove that the accuser is lying.

    The NFL suspended him anyway.

    If the NFL hadn’t had a corrupt Giants superfan suppress the recomendation of the NFL’s lead investigator, who was the only person to interview the accuser, they might have been alright.

    If the NFL hadn’t had a corrupt Giants superfan suspend a confirmed abusive Giants player for only 1 game, and then suspend an innocent Cowboys player for 6 games, they might have been alright.

    If the NFL hadn’t denied Elliott of his right to question Thompson or Goodell, they might have been alright.

  24. cosmicredneck81 says:
    September 14, 2017 at 2:58 pm
    At this point it’s obvious that this is personal to goodell they seen what the boys could do to his beloved giants and now he’s pulling out all the stops to keep us out of the big game as he has for more than a decade now what a worm
    _____________________________________
    This is no more personal than the Brady case was…..this is not personal…..it is 100% about the business of the CBA and leverage points for the next deal…..”oh, you want A, then you have to give up B”…..it’s all a business, which is what most fans don’t understand…..and the NFL is making $$ like never before even when ratings are down…..and nobody has kept the Cowboys out of the big game except the Cowboys…..let’s ask the Lions about the Cowboys latest playoff win and go review the help the NFL gave them at the end of that game…..

  25. rjwalnuts says:
    September 14, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    If the NFL were smart, they would have told their man Henderson to wipe out the suspension.
    ————————-

    The NFL has to show that they are tough on domestic violence. Well, this time at least.

  26. @NH Pats,

    If it isn’t a legal issue, then why drag it through the courts on the taxpayer’s dime?

    If this is a matter of principle, then no wonder Goodell is the buffoon he is, and the ratings keep dropping. They could have gone about it so differently, just like in the deflate gate case with Brady.

    To me, it is a combination of both. The Commissioner is trying to establish his power, but he is shooting himself in the foot in doing so by making a circus out of all of this. Meanwhile, a young player in Zeke (who put himself in an unfavorable position by interacting with a proven liar) is getting partial treatment and has been dragged through the mud as an innocent man. Charge him with pulling the girl’s top down at the parade, and it is case closed – he is guilty. Why not pursue that? No, they would rather choose to push a very shaky case of DV that is utter political beaurocracy, and engage in a legal power struggle at the expense of the fans & players – a very bad business decision

    Goodell should be smart enough to not yield to certain owners, but he simply isn’t impartial. The competition is no longer solely on the field, and hasn’t been for quite some time

  27. “what a worm”

    I agree. What a vile little worm of a man Goodell is. And Mara for that matter. Both helped conceal domestic violence and are essentially accomplices after the fact.

  28. Imagine a world where the league gave Elliott a 2-game suspension for general personal conduct, which Elliott and the Cowboys would likely accept because it wouldn’t accuse him of committing a serious felony unsupported by the justice system, and the whole business being over and done with after this coming weekend, never to be heard about again.

    That would be rational, though. Instead the league accuses one of its top stars of a serious crime with far-reaching repercussions for his career and income potential, all with virtually no evidence and its own investigator disagreeing, setting up a PR battle that the league has no way to de-escalate without losing face.

    How is this a good way to do business, again?

  29. Whereas the Brady suspension was definitely a power play by the commissioner, the Elliott suspension is nothing more than the league office trying to make up for their complete incompetence when dealing with domestic violence.

    You don’t really believe that they added six more games to Josh Brown’s suspension because of “new evidence” do you?

  30. mmack66 says:
    September 14, 2017 at 3:52 pm
    TheCommish says:
    September 14, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    If you work for a Catholic school, and they find out you’ve gotten a divorce, or are living with someone who is not your spouse, you lose your job. There is no recourse. You have not a leg to stand on legally.
    ———————–

    How about if they fired you because some gal said you divorced her, even though you had never been married? Would you have a legal leg to stand on there? Would you fight it, or would you just shrug your shoulders and take it like a man?

    ————

    How about if a woman at work accused you of sexual harassment and while the company was investigating they watched a video of you on vacation pulling down a woman’s shirt in public? Don’t you think that might lead them to believe you objectify women?

  31. nhpats says:
    September 14, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    How about if a woman at work accused you of sexual harassment and while the company was investigating they watched a video of you on vacation pulling down a woman’s shirt in public? Don’t you think that might lead them to believe you objectify women?
    ———————

    Maybe. The NFL would have been probably been better off trying to suspend him for that. It would have sent the same sort of message, and there is no disputing that it happened. But, the NFL doesn’t care what happened at some drunken parade, and they disregarded it.

    Besides, a lot of these owners don’t want to open up the drunken shenanigans can of worms.

  32. So first they aren’t strict enough on DV, now they’re TOO strict. Alright.

    Maybe people just need to stop expecting a football league to be societies bastion of morality and justice, and maybe start putting that burden on the justice system where it belongs?

    The courts let Greg Hardy, Ray Rice, etc walk clean, and you hear almost nothing about it. But then they go to play football, and suddenly it’s the NFL’s job to right all of societies wrongs? People start protesting the league, yet we never seem to hear that kind of vitriol directed at the lawyers and judges who let these guys off scot free and jump through loopholes.

    Maybe Zeke is a horrible guy, maybe the girl is just out to ruin him. Maybe it’s both. Either way, do you people want a zero tolerance policy where the league punishes those who the courts don’t? Or do you want them to do nothing unless a judge imprisons them? Because it seems like people want it both ways, which doesn’t work.

    Yeah they botch almost every ordeal in basially every way imaginable, but either way it seems like people will be outraged no matter what. That’s just the world we live in i guess.

    Everyone complains but seems like nobody can agree on a solution. Doesn’t even seem like anyone TRIES to agree on a solution, because just airing complaints is enough for people to feel like they’ve done their part.

    Decide which way you want it, because we can’t call them too lenient and too strict at the same time. We can’t celebrate suspensions when it’s a player we don’t like but revolt against them when it’s a player we do like. This isn’t how anything works.

  33. NHPATS then objectifying women is what they would have to fire him for, and not sexual harassment. Say the women that accused you of sexual harassment had an email to another workmate that said she was going to frame you if you didn’t give her money and asked other coworkers to lie to make it look like you did something… something tells me you would probably sue your employer for wrongful termination.

  34. halfcentaur says:

    Maybe Zeke is a horrible guy, maybe the girl is just out to ruin him. Maybe it’s both. Either way, do you people want a zero tolerance policy where the league punishes those who the courts don’t? Or do you want them to do nothing unless a judge imprisons them? Because it seems like people want it both ways, which doesn’t work.
    ———————–

    I want a policy where a confirmed domestic abuser gets more than a 1-game suspension, and where a guy that appears to be nothing more than the victim of a jealous, vindictive ex-girlfriend doesn’t get suspended.

  35. The NFL and Goodell take themselves way too seriously in these matters that it’s clouded their judgment. They think they have to be the justice that the legal system was not when the legal system chose not to prosecute this case. Goodell and the NFL want to believe that they will get justice for the victim by being strict on their suspensions. The problem is in this case, they turned a blind eye to all the necessary facts; they failed to listen to both sides. They only took 1 side, the alleged victim. You can see it in their legal maneuverings that they seriously believe that they will give the victim justice, where the legal system failed. Sad.

  36. halfcentaur says:
    September 14, 2017 at 8:27 pm
    So first they aren’t strict enough on DV, now they’re TOO strict. Alright.

    Maybe people just need to stop expecting a football league to be societies bastion of morality and justice, and maybe start putting that burden on the justice system where it belongs?

    The courts let Greg Hardy, Ray Rice, etc walk clean, and you hear almost nothing about it. But then they go to play football, and suddenly it’s the NFL’s job to right all of societies wrongs? People start protesting the league, yet we never seem to hear that kind of vitriol directed at the lawyers and judges who let these guys off scot free and jump through loopholes.

    Maybe Zeke is a horrible guy, maybe the girl is just out to ruin him. Maybe it’s both. Either way, do you people want a zero tolerance policy where the league punishes those who the courts don’t? Or do you want them to do nothing unless a judge imprisons them? Because it seems like people want it both ways, which doesn’t work.
    ===============================
    The burden should absolutely be on the justice system. And nobody is saying that it is perfect or beyond inspection. BUT putting an imperfect (too put it very mildly) player discipline process above another already imperfect justice system is NOT the way to go. The reality is the justice system is far and above better than the mess the NFL has created.

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