NFL to review Peterson for discipline under personal conduct policy


Despite a stated desire to get it right, the NFL is getting it wrong, again.

On Thursday, the league advised Vikings running back Adrian Peterson that he won’t be permitted to return to the team in the wake of his no contest plea on misdemeanor assault charges.  Two days after the plea agreement was finalized, the NFL has informed Peterson that his case will be reviewed under the personal conduct policy.

The review will include the submission of “relevant information regarding his case” by Peterson, meeting with “designated experts” who will make recommendations to Commissioner Roger Goodell, and an “opportunity to have a hearing prior to the issuance of any discipline.”

In other words, the NFL has crafted a cumbersome process that will legitimize further delay.  And further delay necessarily operates as an extension of Peterson’s paid suspension.  Even though his paid suspension commenced with the express understanding that it would end once his legal case is resolved.

While it’s entirely possible that the NFL, which apparently has refused lawyer Rusty Hardin’s plea for a meeting at which an agreement regarding Peterson’s status would be brokered, is buying time for a franchise that remains wobbly in the knees from the harsh local and national reaction to its decision to reinstate Peterson after an initial one-game deactivation, the end result will be that Peterson can’t play while the NFL figures out what to do.

Perhaps the NFL truly needs to devote time and effort to determining the appropriate penalty.  In the interim, however, Peterson should be allowed to play if he wants to.

Players facing suspension under the substance abuse policy are allowed to play until all league proceedings are resolved.  Players facing suspension for PEDs are allowed to play until all league proceedings are resolved.  Why should the procedure be any different regarding conduct that occurred off the clock, away from the team facility, and in the privacy of Peterson’s home?

The procedure is different because it’s becoming clear the NFL and/or the team are scared to let him play.  Which means that Peterson and the NFLPA should give them something to truly be afraid of — an immediate lawsuit with a request for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction forcing the NFL and the Vikings to allow Peterson to play until the league resolves his case under the personal conduct policy.

Could that inflame an already tenuous situation?  Sure.  But it’s clear that, if Peterson doesn’t push back, the NFL will do whatever it wants to do, as usual.

60 responses to “NFL to review Peterson for discipline under personal conduct policy

  1. Perhaps the delay is actually due to the NFL knowing more specifics than we have been told and they know that more suspension (w/o pay) may be in order….?

    If not, I agree with you that he should be reinstated, fined and allowed to get back on track with his life.

    As an NFL fan, I hope this gets resolved sooner than later.

  2. GOD-ell needs to go, he is scared to do anything unless it is over the top discipline.

  3. I am absolutely amazed that you made good sense for once. NFL should reinstate him and let the Vikings choose/not choose to activate him every week until the commissioner decides his punishment, via the DV policy (6 games and checks) or the personal conduct policy.

  4. Protecting the Shield, so they think.

    Thing is….damage is already done. The hit has been taken. But not resolving it clearly and quickly may just bring the whole thing back in the spotlight again.

    Shooting themselves in the foot is more like it.

  5. They are getting this right after the media went all out for them not taking their time with Ray Rice. Keep in mind that Rice agreed to a plea deal too. It is laughable to see how angry people are that AP isn’t back in the league. Rice knocked out his wife. AP beat his kids legs and scrotum with a stick. It evades all logic to think that AP shouldn’t get the same suspension.

  6. You are missing the point. the NFL wants NFLPA to file a suit. Then they can say publicly..We didn’t want to play him but they made us. Thereby absolving themselves of any blame.

  7. Peterson could make this a lot easier for everyone by speaking publicly about changing his life and becoming an advocate for helping parents learn to discipline their children in a more appropriate way. People are willing to forgive if you show remorse, but we’re not seeing it. The Vikings gain nothing by risking alienating fans and sponsors to play a guy who isn’t in their future plans.

  8. “But it’s clear that, if Peterson doesn’t push back, the NFL will do whatever it wants to do, as usual.”

    Tip of the hat to you, Mr. Florio, for actually calling it what it is.

  9. This seems like the league is floating a trial balloon.

    They recognize there will be criticism either way and can spend some time gauging popular opinion. I also believe the reality that Peterson does not catapult the Vikings into Super Bowl contender factors in.

    While my personal opinion is that he should be fined and that the games missed is adequate as time served, I know others disagree and would be very vocal if he is reinstated. From the league and Vikings standpoint, there would be a lot less noise if Peterson was held out for the year.

    Either way, there will be heavy criticism and no way to avoid it.

  10. The judicial system has spoken.

    Reinstate the man and let the Vikings decide if they want to have him represent them on and off the field at this time.

    The longer these cases linger, the more sympathy I have for the players, not for what they have done, but for the ridiculous system they have to fight through to get a definitive answer as to their status.

  11. I don’t want him around. I wouldn’t want him on my team. And I would set a number of conditions before I’d let him come back.

    But that doesn’t mean the NFL should drag its feet, or punish him by doing so. A plan for what to do with AP should have been formulated within a month of his arrest. It seems impossible that after all the grief over Rice, they wouldn’t be prepared.

  12. If I am the Vikings or the league office I do not want someone representing my organization who beats a 4 year old child bloody with a branch while stuffing leaves in the child’s mouth.

    Having said that the league has to reinstate him. Just like they have to reinstate Ray Rice. BUT, no team has to sign Rice and the Vikings DO NOT have to allow AP to play.

    The Vikings and the rest of the teams in the league should take a stance against violence. Let these guys sit out the rest of the year. The league does not need wife beaters and child abusers.

  13. “Perhaps the delay is actually due to the NFL knowing more specifics than we have been told and they know that more suspension (w/o pay) may be in order….?”

    Maybe, but the more likely explanation is that the NFL is just inept.

    The only further punishment I could see as justifiable is a big fine. He’s effectively been suspended as it is- just with pay. He shouldn’t miss more games for this.

    OR, is some video going to just appear out of nowhere? And then the NFL will pass the blame onto the prosecutors?

  14. Hey Mike,

    I have to give you props when you are spot on (Lord knows I have not always agreed with your slants on other topics!), and you are absolutely correct on this.

    The NFLPA should hit this hard and force this issue NOW.

    As you stated before Mike, the NFL reacted quickly and decisively on him when he was charged, but yet, they don’t act when he his case is resolved,WITHOUT GUILT, and a misdemeanor to boot.

    The NFL should be sued ASAP by the NFLPA and Peterson’s camp.

  15. “…an immediate lawsuit with a request for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction forcing the NFL and the Vikings to allow Peterson to play until the league resolves his case under the personal conduct policy.”

    No lawsuit can force the Vikings to put Peterson in a uniform or on the field. The Vikings *can* be forced to pay him, but they can deactivate him for each game if they so choose. Personally I think the NFL would be wise to put the ball in the Vikings’ court, and let them make the unpopular decision (whatever course of action they take with Peterson at this point, there will be fervent opposition).

  16. If ever a corporation needed a union it is the NFL today. They DO have a union …… don’t they!

  17. They want him gone for good. Rightfully so. What he did is not forgivable in any fashion. Everything that the league and the sport, and sports in general, are supposed to represent is the diametric opposite of what Adrian Peterson represents. Or Rusty Hardin, but extention.

    Why give these guys the forum and the wealth to enable them to act in a degenerate and subhuman fashion? The NFL giveth bloated salaries and egos, the NFL must taketh them away when they cause great harm and indignity to other human beings.

  18. I have typically been on Goodell side, thinking that he is doing what is best for the NFL. But over the course of the last six months, he has completed jumped the shark. Every move this guy makes (or the league under his watch) is completely WRONG. It is time for him to step aside. The owners need to wake up and realize that by keeping him in a position of power, they are entirely jeopardizing the future of the NFL, or “Shield” as they would put it.

    Too many dents in that Shield are now leading to cracks. A cracked shield is self-explanatory.

  19. Not shocking. Basically, no decision made.

    I am officially boycotting spending one penny on the NFL and my favorite team until they “get it right”.

  20. The league is trying to take a knee with 12:00 minutes to go in the 4th quarter and Peterson has all his timeouts left.

  21. I am still confused why Peterson did not broker an agreement with the league before he did the plea bargain. Considering it took two grand juries, the case was obviously razor thin in the grand scheme of things anyway.

    Face it, he did the league a huge favor by accepting his paid suspension without raising much of a stink at a time when the NFL could not afford more bad media attention. Seems like it would be time now for the NFL to accept the courts decision, fine him some money and let life go on for everyone.

    If they drag this out much more, it is going to make the next player who is in a like situation fight the league as there is apparently little benefit to playing along with the NFL.

  22. Goodell has no credibility for having any involvement with discipling the players. Worse commissioner ever in any sport.

  23. The NFL has just about destroyed itself it is no longer fun to watch a game unless you like flags. You can no longer cover a receiver with out a flag. You have to never touch a quarterback. Its getting plan boring.. Add the league throwing its weight around being the football cops its becoming more fun to do your honey due lists on Sunday…..

  24. Because physically abusing a defenseless 4 year old is much worse than any lame excuse you just used as a reason to let him to play….physically harming a child is a big no no ….He should’ve thought about the circumstances he’d be faced with before he abused the child….the NFL hasn’t gotten it wrong and they can take as much time as they want

  25. This is the result of all this phony self-righteous indignation about football players. The problem is that people want to hold them to a higher standard than the rest of us. All they are put here on earth to do is play football for our entertainment. I no longer express outrage at their off-field transgressions. I look at them for what they are. If they don’t go to jail, then let them play football.

  26. Why all the concern over technicalities and bureaucratic detail? If you see a person beating a defenseless animal or child, do you pause to consult voluminous sections of the Criminal Code or labour agreements? I sure hell hope not. You do what you can to stop the guy then and there, and make sure he never does it again.

    There aren’t any grey areas here, unless you’re going stone blind.

  27. We’ll form another task force/committee to look into it. We’ll have a definitive answer……uh…..whenever.


  28. The NFL was warned that a plea deal was coming, they had all the information. To continue this line of thought is BS, I can’t believe the NFL has not made a decision yet or are they too busy handing out fines for big hits and telling their officiating crews what they messed up this week?

    Make a decision and suspending him the rest of the year is the WRONG one.

  29. Polls from numerous websites, including this one, show 72-80% of fans think he should be allowed back immediately. The minority should not rule in this case.

  30. Does the NFL have no faith/trust in America’s court system. Crazy to think in the year 2014 the media determines who is guilty and who isn’t.

    I say the hell with the NFL. It was funner to watch the corruption in the NCAA.

  31. If ownership disses Peterson and the other players see this, well I can’t see many players staying here or free agents wanting to come here. Grow some balls Zigi or put a for sale sign up.

  32. Mr. Florio has put this into perspective very well. There really is no valid reason why Peterson should not be able to play until his penalty, if any, has been determined. The NFL is just waffling. They profess to be consistent and decisive then turn around and do the opposite.

  33. His new contract with his new team next year won’t be so lucrative. Right now A.P. should enjoy the fact that he’s getting paid a high price to rest his body. Don’t be eager to give away free tackles or free hits to the head.

  34. To me it seems like nobody wants to make the decision to not let him play. Everybody wants to say that it wasn’t their decision to not let him play. Somebody needs to have the balls to just suspend him for the season. To me the Vikings should just do it, especially if he isn’t in your long run plans. Don’t risk the sponsors, etc.

  35. Seems like the league is looking for an extremely embarrassing lawsuit from Peterson for the league violating the CBA.

  36. Players facing suspension for PEDs are allowed to play until all league proceedings are resolved. Why should the procedure be any different regarding conduct that occurred off the clock, away from the team facility, and in the privacy of Peterson’s home?
    Because sports hacks and internet crusaders have brought public opinion to the forefront of the policy decisions. It is no longer about discipline; it is about politics and politics is always about money. People love to complain about something and they also love to feel better about themselves by putting others down. The Ray Rice fiasco has empowered people who have nothing better to do than gripe about things that have no bearing on their lives.

    Roger Goodell was worried about losing power and the union desperately wanted to gain power in the disciplinary process. They both have lost ground. Goodell is losing power but not to the union. He is losing it to corporate sponsors and the pot-stirring hacks complaining on the internet.

  37. This is Baloney ! The NFL has some of the highest paid Lawyers and, cannot figure out the best prudent course of action.Peterson’s
    case has already been heard and resolved.To further delay a ruling only opens up channels for a rebuttal suit that Peterson would have every chance to win and , in so doing, would only smear more ” Egg” on the face of the NFL !

  38. How many of you would be upset about getting a $14.4 million paid vacation? Woe is Adrian Pererson. Poor Adrian Peterson, he can’t play. I’m sure his son couldn’t play for a while with a busted open scrotum either. Dude needs to man up and take whatever punishment he’s given just like his son did.

  39. This is all the result of a personal conduct policy that is unjust, inconsistent and blows the way of public opinion.

    A billion dollar business as corrupt and greedy as the NFL started throwing the “morality” stones while they sat in their glass houses that look an awful lot like plantation homes of the 1850’s.

    This is what they wrought and they deserve all the criticism and firestorm it brings.

  40. Vikings just need to cut Peterson. It’s obvious they don’t want the bad press, and they aren’t going anywhere this year (or next with small hands at qb). Then NFL can reinstate him and let the dogs attack whichever team goes out on a limb for the ADMITTED CHILD ABUSER.

  41. Nike has spoken….Great to see a company that looks at what he actually did ….they must not have read the goofy logic and goofy posts by some….I mean, you enter a no contest plea to assaulting your 4 year old son and think everything is cool ? Your legal advisor isn’t the brightest …. maybe zygi can give him a hammer and he can take out his vengeance by pounding some nails into the new stadium

  42. OK since being on exempt list without merit he is open to sue under the grounds he was punished before court decided his fate unless there is a rule broken from the cba this is unheard of personally i hope AP sues the NFL

  43. Sue the NFL and Goodell personally. Goodell thinks he’s God and all he’s done is made one bad decision after another.

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