At a time when the NFL has become more aggressive than ever in disciplining players for off-field conduct, all players (and plenty of others) will be watching what the NFL does with Bills offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, who is accused of punching a minor in the face during a beach-chair dispute and then threatening to kill the boy’s family if he told police about it.
The allegations are more than enough to justify an immediate investigation by the NFL. If Kromer eventually faces formal charges, he needs to be placed on paid leave by the league — and possibly fired for cause by the Bills, which would cut off his right to ongoing payments. Even without formal charges, the NFL has shown through, for example, the Greg Hardy case a willingness to disregard the ultimate outcome of the criminal justice system and to dispense its own brand of more-likely-than-not punishment.
And when it comes time to discipline Kromer, the NFL can be as aggressive as it wants to be, without fear of the NFLPA or any other union fighting the final outcome. Since coaches don’t have a union, coaches have no real rights, with the Commissioner serving as the ultimate arbitrator.
Meanwhile, the Bills must move quickly to find someone to replace Kromer, either temporarily or permanently. Kurt Anderson works as the assistant offensive line coach, but it’s unknown whether the Bills deem one of the holdovers from the Doug Marrone regime ready for the next step. Absent immediate and complete exoneration, the Bills will need another offensive line coach very soon. As in by July 30 at the latest, the day the players report for training camp.
With final plans for the launch of camp undoubtedly ongoing, the Bills will need a new offensive line coach a lot sooner than that.