Ezekiel Elliott‘s legal fight may ultimately cost him nothing.
From the appeal through any litigation, the NFL Players Association will be shouldering the financial burden arising from the effort, with one caveat. If Elliott chooses his own lawyer, Elliott will be on his own financially.
The NFLPA has had plenty of success with its own lawyers. Five years ago, it was litigation pressure from the NFLPA that ultimately forced Commissioner Roger Goodell to delegate the appeals of the Saints players suspended in the bounty scandal to an independent arbitrator. And the independent arbitrator — former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue — overturned the suspensions.
The lawyer(s) ultimately calling the shots for Elliott have an important decision to make, sooner than later. With the league rushing to file a lawsuit in a favorable forum two years ago upon denying the appeal of Tom Brady‘s suspension, the league may be ready to do the same thing with Elliott. So maybe Elliott should do it first, picking the location and the judge and launching the attack on the league’s inherently flawed judge-jury-executioner procedures now.