The current chapter in the Book of Bounty should conclude very soon.
With appeal hearings conducted on Monday, June 18 and the league giving the suspended players and their lawyers until 5:00 p.m. ET Friday, June 22 to supplement the record with any written submissions, the matter has become ripe for a ruling from Commissioner Roger Goodell.
And it would be a major shock if Goodell does anything other than affirm the pending suspensions: a full season for Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, eight games for Packer defensive end Anthony Hargrove, four games for Saints defensive end Will Smith, and three games for Browns linebacker Scott Fujita.
It would be a major shock not because Goodell already made up his mind before the appeal process commenced, even if he did. It would be a major shock because the players have submitted nothing in their own defense. Instead, the players have raised jurisdictional and other legal arguments that are intended more for the court that inevitably will be considering this situation not long after Goodell bangs his gavel.
So with the league presenting its “mosaic” of evidence and the players countering by saying nothing, there’s no reason for Goodell to change his mind — and in turn there’s no legitimate reason to delay the ruling.
In all fairness to the players, Goodell should rule on Monday morning so that the players can commence the process of attacking the decision in court, which most likely will include a StarCaps-style effort to block the suspensions until the case is resolved.