Joe Mays has a limited history of illegal hits. The NFL typically uses a system of progressive discipline for illegal hits. Joe Mays will likely rely heavily on that argument when appealing his one-game suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit that sent Texans quarterback Matt Schaub’s helmet flying — with a piece of Schaub’s ear in it.
Mays will appeal the suspension, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and the $50,000 fine that goes along with it.
And before anyone starts with the “judge, jury, and executioner” routine, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has no jurisdiction over this appeal. Art Shell or Ted Cottrell will resolve the situation. Both men were jointly hired and are jointly paid by the NFL and NFLPA to resolve appeals of discipline for on-field actions.
Last year, they upheld a two-game suspension of Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh for stomping Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith and a one-game ban of Steelers linebacker James Harrison for hitting Browns quarterback Colt McCoy so hard that, if his helmet had come off, McCoy’s entire head might have been in it.
The appeal most likely will be resolved before the Broncos’ next game, on Sunday against the Raiders. If upheld, the message to other players is clear — the outcome of an illegal hit will in many ways drive the discipline that’s imposed.