Irsay’s plea deal puts him in line for suspension

AP

After Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested for driving while impaired, some thought the NFL would hold him to a higher standard by suspending him before his case was finalized.  Irsay’s plea deal, which apparently will be finalized on Tuesday, means that any discipline will be imposed after the case has ended.

The question now becomes whether the NFL will hold Irsay to a higher standard by suspending him for a first-offense DUI.  Players typically are fined two game checks for a first offense, absent serious injury or other discipline under the substance-abuse policy.

Adam Schefter of ESPN previously has reported that league insiders expect a six-to-eight game suspension for Irsay.  Don’t be surprised if the suspension comes this week, before the Colts travel to Denver for the first Sunday night of the season.

The financial component of the penalty remains unknown.  In Irsay’s case, he could be fined an amount that raises eyebrows, in isolation.  But he likely won’t face an apples-to-apples penalty, with 1/17th of his total income taken away for each week of the suspension.  That’s what happens when a player is suspended.  To simulate the penalty, the league would have to take a drastic step, such as blocking the Colts’ share of league revenue for each week of the suspension.

Perhaps the biggest question is whether Irsay will be subjected to the same frequency and type of drug testing routinely imposed on a player in the program — and whether Irsay would ever face the ultimate consequence of a one-year banishment.

This much is clear and undeniable.  Irsay’s alleged operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of prescription medication posed a much greater threat than Josh Gordon smoking marijuana ever did.  Whatever the penalty imposed on Irsay, it’ll be difficult if not impossible to reconcile the punishment meted out to player and to owner.

57 responses to “Irsay’s plea deal puts him in line for suspension

  1. Under Baddell Irsay will get a don’t do it again since it was a first offense. BADDELL Doesn’t like to do anything to owners. He only likes screwing the players and fans.

  2. Please stop.
    Super rich people like owners cannot be penalized in any way that will affect them.
    The reason Josh Gordon’s suspension matters is that it affects his life. If he was mega rich, it wouldn’t matter that he was suspended.
    Irsay is worth a billion and guaranteed $150 million annually until he dies. So what penalty can be imposed on him?
    The answer is the league should stay out of the country’s laws and let people play and own until the law says they can’t. The personal conduct policy is nothing but Goodell trying to create a legacy for himself; if Goodell had a DUI, why would he be in line for a penalty? His father is turning over in his grave every day.

  3. This much is clear and undeniable. Irsay’s alleged operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of prescription medication posed a much greater threat than Josh Gordon smoking marijuana ever did.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Except that Gordon was busted for “Driving While Impaired”. That includes impairment from alcohol, prescription meds (legal or not) and/or illicit/illegal drugs. As far as I can tell, the cops would not comment if it was alcohol, marijuana or other drugs. Both incidents posed the same level of “threat”.

    As for the punishment comparisons, stop. It’s a flawed association. Owner does not equal player no matter how much the simpletons would like to compare them. The punishments won’t mirror each other and each individual are “in the league” based on far different circumstances. One signed a contract bound by the CBA and the other has a different set of standards/agreements with the other owners. A better comparison would be the what the owners do to Irsay compared to what the NFLPA does to Gordon.

  4. Keep grinding that axe..I get that maybe doing Marijuana is not a big deal..However what is a big deal is that as a player you sign a contract that says you will not do it. So when you do it, you are basically saying F.U. I will do what I want, you broke the rules of your employment so why is it a shock when punishment comes? Irsay deserves to be punished but he has no contract and it will not be fair in relationship to the players, nor should it. This stupid game the media keeps playing about “this is more dangerous then that” is BS as you are simply guessing an outcome that may or may not pass. Lets just get ready for the football season.

  5. Well, unfortunately you can’t spell Goodell without G-O-D, which I hear, is his latest Tattoo.

  6. Gordon got suspended because Goodell is in Rooney’s pocket & Steelers didn’t like getting torched for 200+ yards

  7. It’s funny that this get’s top billing on the page while the 49ers McDonald’s arrest for VIOLENT DOMESTIC ASSAULT quickly got pushed off the first page.

    Ryan Mallet’s trade for a conditional 7th pick got more play than McDonald’s arrest on this site.

    I still have no idea why you continue to equate OWNER to PLAYER. One owns the team, the other works for the team. One has clearly defined penalties imposed by the CBA, the other does not.

  8. How about 2,000 hours community service working in the ER of a trauma center that handles a lot of impaired driving accident cases?

  9. The only way a rich egotistical guy feels pain is if he is publicly humiliated and marginalized. I have no clue how to accomplish that; however, forcing Irsay to clean up puke at a detox center for 6 months without media attention is a start.

  10. As a Colts fan I’d like to see a penalty that would help others in a big way.

    Why doesn’t Irsay reach out to the NFL and give $20M to start a “Betty Ford” type clinic in Indianapolis.

    Then ban him for 8 games.

    The addiction is real and I hope he gets help and helps others with the same disease.

  11. I still have no idea why you continue to equate OWNER to PLAYER. One owns the team, the other works for the team. One has clearly defined penalties imposed by the CBA, the other does not.
    ————-
    Oh really?

    NFL Personal Conduct Policy
    All persons associated with the NFL are required to avoid “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League.” This requirement applies to players, coaches, other team employees, owners, game officials and all others privileged to work in the National Football League.

    Looks pretty cut and dried to me. Ownership doesn’t like it? Nobody’s forcing them to own an NFL team

  12. vikinghooper says:
    Aug 31, 2014 6:16 PM
    Please stop.
    Super rich people like owners cannot be penalized in any way that will affect them.

    ————————————————

    Yeah, Donald Sterling was telling me that just the other day.

  13. drunkwino says:
    Aug 31, 2014 7:02 PM

    Oh really?

    NFL Personal Conduct Policy
    All persons associated with the NFL are required to avoid “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League.” This requirement applies to players, coaches, other team employees, owners, game officials and all others privileged to work in the National Football League.

    Looks pretty cut and dried to me. Ownership doesn’t like it? Nobody’s forcing them to own an NFL team

    ——————————————

    Yes really. If it’s so cut and dried, please tell me, what does it say Irsay’s punishment should be? It is cut and dried isn’t it?

    Players have defined punishments for drug use, alcoholism, violent domestic assault. I can tell you what the minimum time that McDonald will get.

    The league probably will impose some penalty on Irsay because of the PR but it won’t be meaningful in any significant way. It’s not like Irsay handles day to day operations.

  14. @eagleswin “I still have no idea why you continue to equate OWNER to PLAYER”

    Because both the owner and the players represent the NFL Shield and Brand.

  15. “Yeah, Donald Sterling was telling me that just the other day.”

    Yeah… what a punishment he got. How will he ever recover from making $2 billion from selling a team?

  16. Yes really. If it’s so cut and dried, please tell me, what does it say Irsay’s punishment should be? It is cut and dried isn’t it
    ——–
    Can’t read bro? The very first paragraph of the NFL Code of Conduct states owners are part of it. That wasn’t an interpretation, that’s word for word quote. It doesn’t say owners are encouraged to behave, it says point blank owners are “required to avoid “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League.”

    As amazing as it sounds, rich people aren’t above the rules. Isray, and every other owner in football, agreed to be governed by this rule in the same way players are.

    Granted, nobody believes the NFL actually has the ethics to actually DO anything. Doesn’t change the fact that their subject to rules. If they don’t like it, nobody’s forcing them to own a team.

  17. What is astounding is that there are those who truly believe and encourage the concept that the very wealthy should be exempt from the Rule of Law or even standards by which they are contractually bound.

  18. drunkwino says:
    Aug 31, 2014 7:37 PM

    Can’t read bro? The very first paragraph of the NFL Code of Conduct states owners are part of it. That wasn’t an interpretation, that’s word for word quote. It doesn’t say owners are encouraged to behave, it says point blank owners are “required to avoid “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League.”

    As amazing as it sounds, rich people aren’t above the rules. Isray, and every other owner in football, agreed to be governed by this rule in the same way players are.

    Granted, nobody believes the NFL actually has the ethics to actually DO anything. Doesn’t change the fact that their subject to rules. If they don’t like it, nobody’s forcing them to own a team.

    ———————

    I can read but you still haven’t told me what the specified punishment is. You keep circling back to “required to avoid”. I didn’t dispute that but that’s all you have.

    If it is cut and dried, according to the language, what is his required specified punishment? For a player it is specified.

  19. Holy cow Florio, stop comparing him to Josh
    Gordon. Here’s what we know: They are both dirtbags. Both should be out of the NFL for a long, long time. Irsay’s fine should be huge, since he will make big money as an owner, and judge should direct that fine go to drug prevention/abuse. Gordon should be mandated for 4X per week in rehab. This isn’t that hard.

  20. I can read but you still haven’t told me what the specified punishment is. You keep circling back to “required to avoid”. I didn’t dispute that but that’s all you have
    ———
    That’s not all “I” have, it’s what the league has. And how should I know what that joke of a commissioner is gonna do. This is a guy who suspended a wife beating for two games and a weed smoker for a year. In fact, the inane dictatorial way he handles disciplinary actions is one of the biggest reason he’s considered the worst commissioner in pro sports.

    But the precedent is fairly clear. For a player, it’s a fine that hurts the player and a suspension that hurts him and the team. What seems equivalent is a six figure fine (maybe between $300,000 and $800,000) and a loss of a second or third round pick. Or maybe instead of the laughable fine, it could be a salary cap penalty of that much.

    That sounds like a fair deal…but since Ginger makes it up as he goes along, he’ll probably ban Isray from the owners box for half a quarter and not let him have chicken wings at the stadium for a game.

  21. Take away their first round pick if he hasn’t stupidly traded it away yet and shave 5 million off of their cap next season. That should be good for starters. Also have him submit 3 random drug test per month for an entire year.

  22. Draft picks make sense to me. Look for the league to detail the rules of punishment for owners after this case. (A la Ray Rice domestic abuse rules)
    Still not sure how all these scenarios for punishment ‘snuck up’ on the league. They should’ve already had this crap detailed out. Morons.

  23. Watch, he’ll get popped for driving drunk again…Remember you heard it here first. Alcoholics, which he is, always drive drunk over and again, especially after getting popped the first time. He’s got the skin signs of a serious alki…

  24. drunkwino and eagleswin both have good points. The owners are held accountable to the policy and so are the players. How they are held accountable varies. You can compare two owners with the same infraction and two players with the same infraction but you cannot adequately compare an owner and a player that share similar infractions. The players are bound by what their union and the league agreed to in the CBA. Anything not specified falls into the commissioner’s discretion. He will also consider mitigating and aggravating factors from the incidents and personal histories. Nothing dealing with an owner is specified at all so it will go to Goodell’s discretion. His discretion will not be used in a vacuum. This is a fellow owner so I would bet that the rest of the owners would weigh in on the matter. They have not agreed to a specific set of punishments like in the CBA but I have to assume there are rules/standards that they all agree to prior to being allowed to operate an NFL franchise.

  25. They are not going to take draft pick or salary cap. Get real people. What he did was wrong, fine him and or suspend him from team activitys.

    When you take picks and salary cap. You not only penalize the team, but the fans as well. What next force him to sell the team?

  26. Um. And when players are suspended that doesn’t hurt the team or the fans? Use your brain.

  27. smh @ all those suggesting draft picks be taken away. He broke a real law, not some NFL by-law. Even if he is suspended that is not going to change anything. One of his family members will operate the team with instructions from him. So he’ll still be around.

  28. Wow! A lot of people obsessed with Irsay.

    Idiots saying Colts should lose draft picks are simply delusional. If it were the head coach I would agree.

    Irsay cuts the cheques, unlike that zombie looking dude that owns Dallas, Irsay hires football people to make football decisions.

    Just because he is kinda a clown and does shady business, doesn’t give the NFL the right to kill what Indy Coaches/ G.M have been working on.

  29. Irsay should get the same treatment as a player or coach would get for his offenses.
    The guy has an addiction and he needs help to beat it, just like some players do.
    I only hope this humbles him and he does what ever is necessary to never have this happen again.
    He does have a responsibility to set an example as the owner of the Colts. It’s pretty hard for the league to be cracking down on the players for their off the field conduct if you have an owner doing the same crap.

  30. The League cannot assign community service as a punishment.

    Draft picks and Salary Cap assessments hurt the team, which was not involved with Irsay’s behavior. These suggestions are usually put forward by fans of other teams who would love to get an advantage over an opponent for no reason.

    Irsay is not bound by the CBA in this regard, but it is likely that the CBA will be misapplied to his case. So he’ll probably get a near-maximum fine and suspension (half year to year), neither of which will really have an effect on him. Some of that may be ameliorated by the fact that he settled his case relatively quickly, rather than wait for his court date later this year.

  31. Sometimes I wonder why I even expect a logical post on this site. Comparing the punishment that any first time offender like Irsay to that of a third offense like Gordons is plain ignorant.

  32. “This much is clear and undeniable. Irsay’s alleged operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of prescription medication posed a much greater threat than Josh Gordon smoking marijuana ever did”

    I disagree and so do the courts. Regardless of the “substance” taken, Impairment is Impairment; there is no distinction or difference in penalty under the law between marijuana, alcohol or pain pills and no greater threat! You can kill someone on any of those substance.

  33. Suspension, yeah right. Goodell has his head rotate between Kraft’s, Jones and Irsays asses so I expect as much punishment for Irsay as Jones is going to get for tampering with the leagues best running back. The Commish isn’t going to cut the lifeline to his wallet. The guy has no cajunas.

  34. Of course draft picks and salary cap hurt the team. Just as losing a starting pro bowl defensive player for nine games hurts the team, even though the behavior was from an individual. Should be no different here. He represents the shield as much as any players, probably more considering he’ll be around for the team for 40+ years. He broke the law, tarnished the shield and will be punished in a manner that hurts his team. Just like aldon smith and ray rice and the rest of them…

  35. You can’t penalize the team by reducing the salary cap because that changes the amount of spending that would be going to the players, which maybe doesn’t literally violate the CBA but certainly goes against the spirit of dividing up the money between players and owners. To my mind, a fine doesn’t hurt as much as it should, and a suspension is absurdly meaningless. I think the teeth of whatever punishment the league hands down has to include forfeiting a 3rd or 4th round pick. It hurts, but not to an extreme like a 1st round pick would. I think you have to hold higher standards for ownership than those for players. Owners (and their league-employed minion) are the ones who pushed for a Personal Conduct and Substance Abuse policy to be in place, and for that reason should absolutely not be above the “law” when it comes to reaping what they have sown.

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