Goodell delegates Peterson appeal to Harold Henderson

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The NFLPA got what it wanted.  Kind of.  Sort of.  Not really.

Commissioner Roger Goodell will not handle the appeal of Adrian Peterson’s rest-of-season suspension.  Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reports that Goodell has delegated the appeal to Harold Henderson, a former NFL executive who routinely resolves appeals under the league’s substance-abuse, PED, and personal conduct policies.

Most recently, Henderson handled the appeal of Browns receiver Josh Gordon’s full-season suspension, upholding the banishment before a revised substance-abuse policy reduced the penalty to 10 games.

The NFLPA had wanted an independent arbitrator.  Henderson isn’t entirely independent.  But it’s not Goodell or any current NFL official or executive.

Peterson’s appeal contends that the NFL is applying a rule that was adopted after the conduct for which Peterson is being disciplined occurred.  Peterson’s appeal also claims that the punishment is too extreme in comparison to other punishments in other cases.

Per Glazer, the hearing will be held on December 2.  Depending on the ruling and its timing, Peterson could be back with the Vikings by December 7, against the Jets.

42 responses to “Goodell delegates Peterson appeal to Harold Henderson

  1. The NFL changed nothing. There was always the personal conduct policy that if you embarrass the shield, the shield will embarrass you more.
    ie: Gordon and Blackmon

  2. So the media and ignorant fans go nuts about how Goodell is the one who gets to decide if the punisment he handed down is going to stick but when he delegates to an impartial party somehow he is STILL in the wrong? I swear, the attacks on Goodell are filled with nothing hypocricy.

  3. Cut from above:

    “Henderson isn’t entirely independent. But it’s not Goodell or any current NFL official or executive.”

    So, Henderson derives a portion of his income from work he/his firm does with the NFL. This is a farce! Does anyone believe Henderson is going to risk losing future income by disagreeing with the NFL? This has got to be, without a doubt, the single most backwards agreement between management and labor I have ever seen. Absolutely no credibility here whatsoever.

  4. As a bonus, if Henderson reinstates AP the NFL can just say the decision was out of their hands.

  5. schmokes says:
    Nov 21, 2014 2:48 PM
    The NFLPA got what they wanted, unless they didn’t.

    How did you miss that opportunity to make your favorite joke?


    Florio really does this same schtick every time.

  6. He should be allowed to play. He has passed through the justice system and is not in jail. You just can’t keep hammering people because they made a mistake. It’s like the NFL BLEW IT with Ray Rice and now is hammering everyone who gets in trouble.

  7. Goodell is nothing more than a loser who will never get anything right. He needs to be suspended or fired from the league. The owners are dumb enough to keep paying this guy when he’s doing a terrible job handling disciplinary players. Ban Goodell for life.

  8. Goodell: “Henderson, I need you to take care of Adrian’s suspension for me.”
    Henderson: “You mean you are recusing yourself, and want me to hear his appeal?”
    Goodell: “Same thing.”

  9. Smart move by Goodell ..he is finally getting it. Why does he insist
    on being in on all. He should take a lesson from his predecessor
    who was low key and professional. He also did not insist on being the face of the NFL . When one is always out in front one is bound to
    make mistakes especially when one has a bit of an ego and a bit of
    a short temper.
    As to the union they should refuse this offer. If I were the union I
    would keep insisting on an impartial arbitrator. This offer still
    leaves door open for Goodell to act as jury and judge in future.

  10. So now the NFL realizes most people think the punishment was too hard so they will have this guy overturn it so Rog can look strong and say well I didn’t reinstate Peterson. Peterson gets to play in meaningless games since without Peterson last Sunday the Vikings fell to the lowly Bears and were all but eliminated from the post season.

    So no one will really care if he plays or not. Win win for the NFL, lose win for Peterson, and all lose lose for the Vikings this year much like most their schedule.

  11. “he passed thru the justice system”
    he pleaded guilty to a crime.
    And you can punish someone on multiple fronts for the same act.
    in court, in the workplace, in the community.
    How did Goodell blow it?
    I could have sworn that AP is the one who bloodied his own
    FOUR yr old with a switch. I could have sworn it was AP who hit his own son in the scrotum with a switch.
    It appears to me that AP is the one who blew it, as a father, as a pro football player and as a member of society.
    AP got paid. his family hasnt suffered.
    the only one who suffered was a 4 yr old who still probably has no idea why his daddy beat him like he was a snare drum

  12. Neither Goodell nor any NFL employee should be able to pick who the arbiter is. Kinda defeats the intent and integrity of the entire appeals process doesn’t it?

    You know, I’ve been a huge Goodell fan all the way thru the rules changes, draconian protective measures put in place, and think he has been spot on on that.

    However it’s like a light switch went off starting with the Ray Rice incident, where Goodell has turned into the worst freaking commissioner in sports. Polarized the league, spinning everything with the distinct smell that he’s protecting power and turf, and not going all in for the good of the league no matter what.

    Time for Roger to go. He is not an effective NFL commissioner any more. Clearly.

  13. Zygi “The Racketeer” Wilf is angry with Goodell for suspending AB for the rest of the season. He’s upset because the Vikings were all set to start the Adrian “The Abuser” Peterson marketing campaign. They’ve already printed up t-shirts, hats, bobbleheads, the works.

  14. codythao35 says:Nov 21, 2014 3:05 PM

    “Goodell is nothing more than a loser who will never get anything right.”

    Dude has ascended to the top of his profession and makes more in one year than almost all of us will make in our lifetimes. If that’s being a “loser,” I’ll have some of that . . .

  15. The union has to take this power from Goodell. They gave him the power but at that time, punishments were based on something concrete.

    First time offenders got of light, just like in the legal system. Second offenders got suspended a few games. Multiple offenders got significant suspensions.

    Now Goodell has no basis at all. It’s just whatever he feels like, or more accurately, what he thinks the people on twitter want. The punishments are far above what was given out previously.

    The union can argue that Goodell, by giving much larger punishments than were ever given out prior to granting him this power, has not acted in good faith and has violated the spirit of the agreement.

  16. RomoIsGod says:
    Nov 21, 2014 2:57 PM
    So the media and ignorant fans go nuts about how Goodell is the one who gets to decide if the punisment he handed down is going to stick but when he delegates to an impartial party somehow he is STILL in the wrong? I swear, the attacks on Goodell are filled with nothing hypocricy.


    Henderson once was in charge of the NFL Management Council, holding titles of chairman and executive vice president of labor relations. The Council negotiates with the NFLPA on BEHALF OF THE NFL. How does that qualify as “impartial” when the guy effectively used to work for Goodell?

    This is a sham, Harold will surely back Goodell and Roger is having Harold do his dirty work for him. So he doesn’t look so liable later on when players (Peterson, et al) sue the NFL over his arbitrary and inconsistent disciplinary practices.

  17. The NFL is obviously acting in bad faith. They are essentially punishing Peterson for bringing the league bad PR as if he’d been convicted of child abuse. He was convicted of a minor misdemeanor with no jail time and which can be expunged in a few months. Suspending someone for a season over the equivalent of a DUI is ridiculous. Not giving credit for time served is also ridiculous.

    If Peterson had missed games because he was in jail, then that’s on him. If the legal system says no need for punishment in this case, then the league shouldn’t act. If Tom Brady gets a speeding ticket (also a minor misdemeanor with no jail time) would he be suspended? We all know the answer is no.

  18. Hopefully this arbitrator isn’t afraid to rule against godell. The real suspension should have been at the most 6 games and 6 game checks. And time served should have been considered as part of the suspension.

    The NFL missed a golden opportunity to have ap be their poster child for change. They could have told him to donate his 6 game checks to anti domestic assualt organizations and asked him to film commercials, public apology, and marketing campaign about how what he did was wrong and he has changed. Through that marketing campaign they might have made a change to the culture they are condemning but now they just look spitefull, clueless, and irrational.

    FREE AP!!!


  19. Sooooooo……… the arbitrator derives much of his income from Goodell and is expected to rule without considering the impact to his future earnings.


    Sure I’ll buy that. Is there any reason why we can’t simply do this in an honest, above board manner? does it all have to look and smell so fishy?

  20. I use a lot of products that sponsor the NFL. I am getting sick of Rodger GODell and I am going to start stop using/buying products that sponsor the NFL until his butt is out of office.

  21. AB couldn’t break Dickerson’s single season rushing record and he won’t break Smith’s all-time record. Karma.

  22. The people defending AP and Ray Rice are clearly uneducated. The NFL does not have to do what the legal system does. Conduct Detrimental to the league i.e a business i.e. MONEY. Sponsorship’s. AP is a child abuser. He pleaded no conest i.e. he’s GUILTY. Ray Rice PUNCHED his wife. Why do you all feel so strongly they deserve to play? They make millions, is it that hard to be a good person? Making a mistake is forgetting to pay a bill, forgetting to make a call. Not beating your child with a tree branch or punching a woman

  23. The most amazing aspect of this is the arrogance of Goodell to not recognize how obviously he is trying to “fix” the final outcome. Sadly, not surprising.

  24. Yep – Goodell was able to go on record as outraged by the behavior even though it seems to be a relatively newfound sentiment. Now that his arses covered leave it on somebody elses shoulders.
    Your outrage is pretty hypocritical when Ray Lewis is still help up for adoration.

  25. What’s lost in all this is that there is still a 4 year old boy who was whipped until he bled and is presumably scarred physically and mentally to this day. His “dad” just spoke to him for the first time in 5 months this week. Let us not forget who is the true victim here. Adrian’s future should be the least of our worries, he’ll be fine. Roger Goodell and the Wilf’s, I could not care less about them. I’m worried about that young child and I sincerely hope his mother proves to be the stronger parent and hugs him and loves him daily.

  26. All the idiots who say Roger must go are also clueless. His job is to make the owners money. Period. Seems like he’s done his job quite get over it and wake up.

  27. To me it is mind boggling that while this “appeal process” is going on he cannot play. It is not like it is off season.

    I believe other players get to play while their judgment from the almighty court of Godell is being appealed.

    The only people happy with this process in the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers and people who have decided to not pay attention to football anymore.

  28. Former employees of management don’t count as impartial. I’m sure his services aren’t free and I doubt the PA is kicking in a few bucks to pay a guy who hasn’t acted favorably towards them in the past.

  29. At this point, I hope he rules that Peterson can play. Then the Vikings will really be in a PR jam, they will be firmly in control of last place in the NFC North (nothing new there, this year will make it 4 out of the last 5 years), they will be playing an equally inept team in the Jets so the game will be completely meaningless and it will set up a Dobson’s choice of epic porportions.

    I can’t think of a more deserving franchise for this to happen to.

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