Players won’t get credit for paid leave under new conduct policy

AP

Yes, players charged with crimes of violence will be placed on paid leave pending the outcome of their legal cases and the resolution of their disciplinary proceedings (including appeal).  No, they won’t get credit for a single game missed while placed on paid leave when the time comes to be discipline.

During a media conference call explaining the new personal conduct policy, NFL general counsel Jeff Pash (pictured with Commissioner Roger Goodell) defended the decision to not give players credit for “time served” by characterizing the move as not disciplinary, because the player continues to be paid.  Pash compared the situation to other workplaces, in which employees accused of certain misconduct are placed on paid leave.

But there’s a huge difference in pro sports, which the NFL continues to ignore, deliberately or otherwise.  Football players want to play football.  Keeping them from playing football is, for them, disciplinary.  It also entails significant competitive issues for his team and for other teams.

That’s where the league’s logic collapses.  Football players want to play football.  So after paying them for a potentially unlimited number of games to not play, why not give them credit for the games already missed when imposing discipline, using per-game fines until the total number of game checks lost matches the number of games missed before discipline was issued?

52 responses to “Players won’t get credit for paid leave under new conduct policy

  1. Hey, I have a solution…don’t hit your wife. No suspension, no appeals, no time lost. A win-win for the player and the league. OR kick the offender out of the NFL for life. Either one of those works for me.

  2. If they want to play football, they shouldn’t commit violent crimes against women and children. The vast majority of players are law abiding, fine people. The one’s who commit these kinds of violent crimes shouldn’t be playing. They are not what football is all about.

  3. So there is still no decision on Adrian Peterson!

    Here’s guessing this will be resolved tomorrow – where I believe it will be too late for Peterson to be active – and a two game unpaid suspension is given.

    The NFL is doing everything it can to make sure Peterson doesn’t play another game this season.

    At least he should be allowed to participate in the full off season rather than wait until April.

  4. Well, can they get cut while on this exempt list?

    If not, I can see instances where a player may get cut… and then ends up on the exempt list instead. Then delay trials and appeal.

  5. Well because Adrian didn’t. You see? They make the decision up as they go, and then they write it down after the fact like that makes it better.

    This is like if you were arrested for stealing a candy bar. Even though most people get a ticket of some sort, in this case, the judge decided you should get life in jail for this crime where there’s absolutely no basis to do so. Then, after public outcry for how ridiculous this is, while you are sitting in jail for the rest of your life, instead of them letting you out of jail, they just change the rules so that from now on, stealing a candy bar results in life in prison, like it somehow justifies their original stance to put you in jail for the rest of your life. Goodell is garbage and needs to go. He can’t be trusted.

  6. If they just want to play football, they should stop committing crimes, beating their fiancés and kids – and just worry about, you know, playing football.

    I have a feeling that some of them just like getting paid.

  7. I will go even further then PFT……it’s not only a punishment for players because they want to…..they also NEED to play football. There is a certain erosion to a player’s skills and cinditioning when he doesn’t play.

    Incentives can’t be achieved on paid leave especially harmed are those on incentive laced contracts.

    For those in a contract year their next contract will be adversely impacted by teams not seeing them on the field.

    So how do you make a player whole who was placed on paid leave and found not guilty…..

    And even for those found guilty you want to place an additional 6 game penalty after they’ve missed multiple games? BS. The NFLPA needs to stand up and do its job.

  8. What happens to the players (and their teams) when false accusations spring up right and left, leaving rosters with holes because their players are on leave for no reason?

  9. What happens when it takes the full football season to get to a trial for someone and they’re found innocent?

  10. There are a ton of other compensation questions attached to a paid leave that the NFL is ignoring.

    What about escalator clauses and incentives based on stats, perfomance or awards?

    Lets use Colin Kaepernick’s deal for example. His contract deescalates by a whopping $2 million unless he end up taking, in any year of the deal, 80 percent of the snaps and if: (1) the 49ers appear in the Super Bowl; or (2) Kaepernick is named a first-team or second-team All-Pro.

    I’m pretty sure being placed on the Commisioner’s Exempt list even for a handful of games would make hitting those clauses extremely difficult. If a player is placed on the exempt list and then eventually not found guilty, or pleads to a crime that warrants only a small punishment by the NFL who is responsible for all the money lost?

    A player who end up pleading to disturbing the peace in a domestic disturbance clearly should not have to forfeit $2 million dollars, but that would be the likely outcome for a player who spent months waiting for a legal inverstigation.

    Even worse it could easily turn out that a player is fully cleared during an investigation. Then the player has a serious grievance against the NFL for taking actions that devalued their contract.

  11. How many players are found innocent or have charges dropped each year? This is guilty until proven innocent and encourages players to accept plea deals so they can expedite the legal process and return to work. How does the union not have to agree to something so drastic and ridiculous?

  12. oldfbcoach says:
    Dec 10, 2014 2:41 PM
    If they want to play football, they shouldn’t commit violent crimes against women and children…….
    —————–+++——
    If they want to play football, they shouldn’t be CHARGED WITH violent crimes against women and children…….

    There fixed that for you. No need to worry about that pesky innocent until proven guilty clause.

  13. What happens if a player is on this list for a year and is ultimately exonerated? Does he receive the benefit of the accrued year to his pension and benefits? Even if he’s found guilty does he still accrue the year’s service?

  14. -pillowporkers

    Are you kidding me? Are you really comparing beating someone with stealing a candy bar?

    I think this policy could be handled differently (letting them back then witholding game checks) but your comparison is ludicrous.
    AP did a hell of a lot more than steal a candy bar and got a hell of a lot less than life in prison.

  15. Please correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t the player have to agree to go on the exempt list? Isn’t it like IR, the team decided to put these players on the exempt list, and the player consents. The exempt list is not mandatory

  16. mksnpcola says:
    Dec 10, 2014 2:41 PM
    Hey, I have a solution…don’t hit your wife. No suspension, no appeals, no time lost. A win-win for the player and the league. OR kick the offender out of the NFL for life. Either one of those works for me.

    ——————-
    You’re one of those people who thinks someone being charged with a crime means they’re automatically guilty, aren’t you?

  17. For those people talking about all of the negative things that are happening to the players charged with crimes, what if they just didn’t put themselves in that position?

    If they miss incentives on a false claim they have the full ability to sue the libel party for punitive damages, 1 or 2 of those cases would stop the false charge angle.

    People are complaining about what is happening to less than 1% of the players, why?

    The vast majority don’t commit crimes, get charged with crimes, nor do they break the rules. Why should we not expect the same from the rest of them?

  18. @HFSRichard:

    I absolutely agree I exaggerated the circumstance, but it’s the same point. He was over punished for something and made an example out of based on other circumstances (i.e. RAY RICE), and the NFL decided to just change the rules to try to make themselves look better instead of admitting that they actually have no idea what they are doing and make things up as they go.

  19. So after paying them for a potentially unlimited number of games to not play, why not give them credit for the games already missed when imposing discipline, using per-game fines until the total number of game checks lost matches the number of games missed before discipline was issued?
    _______

    Because that would make too much sense.

  20. Just wait until we have a guy accused of domestic violence by a wife/girlfriend he dumped just before he is about to sign a massive deal. That will be the real fun.

  21. VikesRule says:
    Dec 10, 2014 3:17 PM

    mksnpcola says:
    Dec 10, 2014 2:41 PM
    Hey, I have a solution…don’t hit your wife. No suspension, no appeals, no time lost. A win-win for the player and the league. OR kick the offender out of the NFL for life. Either one of those works for me.

    ——————-
    You’re one of those people who thinks someone being charged with a crime means they’re automatically guilty, aren’t you?

    ************

    In the Ray Rice example – there is video evidence.

    In the Adrian Peterson example – he admitted it.

    They are guilty based on those facts.

  22. A lot of people here are missing the point. This isn’t about being accused of a crime you’d didn’t commit and were later found innocent of. The issue here is it was subsequently proven you were guilty. Isn’t hat circumstance, your paid leave from games shouldn’t count. This isn’t that hard to comprehend if you have a functioning brain.

    The broader issue is whether it’s fair to suspend a player and out them on paid leave without a conviction. And it’s fair to question that because players are more vulnerable, I suspect, to false accusations than the general population because of their money and fame. Furthermore, their careers are short. Every game missed is a wasted opportunity to showcase your skills and translate that into even bigger rewards down the road.

    However, the broader good has to be served here. Imagine the optics of letting a player continue to play if they have been accused of a ciolent crime. Anyone here suggesting Hernandez should be playing?

  23. @it’s not gold…it’s yellow:

    You and everyone else who says this, what exactly did Adrian Peterson admit to? Child Abuse? Can you please find me that quote? He admitted he disciplined his child.

    Neither the father, the mother, or the courts, thought it was child abuse. Just because you thought it was child abuse from 2,000 miles away from the circumstance doesn’t mean it actually was child abuse.

  24. RegisHawk says:
    Dec 10, 2014 2:37 PM
    Well, if they really only want to play football, don’t pay them at all.

    21 25
    Maybe that s how you do it in Russia, but it is called due process or does that not matter, never mind, clearly it does not

  25. mksnpcola says:
    Dec 10, 2014 2:41 PM
    Hey, I have a solution…don’t hit your wife. No suspension, no appeals, no time lost. A win-win for the player and the league. OR kick the offender out of the NFL for life. Either one of those works for me.
    Yes good idea, because every man that is accused of hitting his wife immediately loses his job, correct?

  26. No matter the circumstance, having one man in charge of discipline of a group this large is ludicrous – especially when that man has proven again and again that he has no idea what he’s doing. No wonder he is known as “God”-dell among a growing number of fans of the NFL.

    I think that there should be a committee made up of equal numbers of representatives from the NFL and the NFLPA, with one TRULY unbiased individual to act as a mediator, with the ultimate vote to break the tie should that become necessary.

  27. No player should ever get credit for paid leave.

    A player will be paid to take care of his legal issues, that he most likely created. So if his team put him on the list, that would allow him get compensated, even though he wouldn’t be playing. How entitled are you, if you think that is adequate punishment, if the player is found anything but innocent?

    Peterson even admitted he was criminally responsible to league.Of course you are going to be suspended, to think ANYTHING else was absolutely silly.

  28. pillowporkers says: Dec 10, 2014 3:56 PM

    @it’s not gold…it’s yellow:

    You and everyone else who says this, what exactly did Adrian Peterson admit to? Child Abuse? Can you please find me that quote? He admitted he disciplined his child.

    Neither the father, the mother, or the courts, thought it was child abuse. Just because you thought it was child abuse from 2,000 miles away from the circumstance doesn’t mean it actually was child abuse.
    ================================

    Ok, so exactly what would you call stuffing leaves in the child’s mouth, whipping the child bloody and whipping the child’s scrotum? Fatherly advice?

    Peterson got out of being CHARGED with abuse, but that certainly doesn’t mean he didn’t commit abuse…….

  29. And what about those players that are in a contract year, and need to show teams they can still play at a high level in order to get a new contract? And what about the bonuses written into contracts for playing time, pro bowls, playoffs, Superbowls, wins, production at their position, etc.?

    Yep…just like employees in other jobs. Only, it isn’t at all. It absolutely baffles the mind how these old idiots became so rich. Wait, never mind. Screwing over people is how they live their life.

  30. I didn’t like the refusal to credit timed served at first. After thinking about it, it does indeed make sense. Suppose 2 players are accused of identical crimes. Both are put on the list at the same time. Say, the legal process takes 7 weeks and player A is found innocent and player B is found guilty. They both would be eligible to play the same week. The only difference is the fine money. The league/players view a suspension as more of a deterrent than a simple fine so it makes sense to differentiate by treating the administrative action as completely separate. With time served, the suspension never happens for the guilty player (when compared to the guy that is innocent).

    That said, the league needs to be conducting whatever investigation they feel necessary while the player is in limbo on paid leave. Their decision needs to come within one week of the legal decision. The league can still say the behavior constitutes a suspension if a lesser charge is plead to. The lawyer’s ability should have no impact on the league’s decision of whether the behavior warrants discipline. The league should not be able to delay the process by waiting on making a decision like they did with Peterson.

  31. More smoke & mirrors. The NFL will never get until fans revolt, then collectively they will understand, players and mgmt alike.

  32. Let’s get rid of pro-football so Goodell won’t get pay at all. How’s that sound? Screw football, no point of playing and watching any way.

  33. Good…you get in trouble…you don’t play. NFL is a privilege millionaires….figure it out!

  34. I guess player & fans are to dumb to realize that if you keep your nose clean….you never have to worry about the consequences.

  35. Hey,isn’t that Time Magazine’s would-be Person of the Year in that picture? How do you screw up as badly as Goodell did and get nominated for Person of the Year??? What a joke.

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