With hearing officer James Thrash (correctly) upholding the indefinite suspension imposed on Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, Garrett technically isn’t out of options. As a practical matter, however, he is.
Garrett could file a lawsuit aimed at challenging the arbitration. He could, and it’s safe to conclude that the option has at least been considered. The chances of a lawsuit succeeding, however, are incredibly slim.
They’re slim because of the precedent created in the Tom Brady and Ezekiel Elliott cases. While both cases had earlier success through the securing of an order allowing them to play while the litigation proceeded, both lost on the merits. Courts don’t like to get involved in disputes that have been privately resolved through arbitration, and the failure of Brady and Elliott to get their own suspensions overturned makes it far less likely that Garrett would prevail.
Without getting too far into the legal weeds, Brady and Elliott had stronger cases in large part because their appeals weren’t heard by an independent arbitrator, but by the Commissioner or his designee. Garrett would need to be able to show serious irregularities in order to get a court to throw out the outcome of a neutral procedure that has been developed through negotiations between the NFL and the NFL Players Association.
Besides, Brady and Elliott had the ability to call into question the question of whether they did the things of which they were accused. Garrett did what he did, and what he did was far worse than anything a player has done on the field, at least since Albert Haynesworth shredded the forehead of Andre Gurode with a cleat, if not ever.
There’s a point where Garrett needs to accept that he crossed a line that never should have been crossed, a line that must never be crossed again. And Garrett needs to understand that the indefinite suspension that stretches into 2020 is intended to give the league a full and fair opportunity to ensure that, when he’s permitted to return to action, the league will be certain that he won’t ever do it again.