Monday night’s win by LSU over Clemson sent Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. into a state of euphoria that resulted in multiple instances of bizarre behavior. And the NFL has been paying attention to the aftermath of the situation.
A league spokesman tells PFT regarding whether Beckham faces any scrutiny from the NFL, “We have been monitoring the situation but will decline further comment.”
Beckham’s lawyer has informed ESPN.com that the arrest warrant arising from a slap to the butt of a Superdome security officer has been withdrawn. However, the absence of criminal charges does not insulate a player from scrutiny under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott received a six-game suspension despite no arrest or charges, and free-agent receiver Antonio Brown spent most of 2019 on de facto unpaid suspension as the league investigates him for potential punishment, even though he also has not been arrested or charged.
Of course, the allegations against Elliott (domestic violence) and Brown (sexual assault and rape) were more serious than a count of simple battery arising from a butt slap caught on camera. The fact that the person slapped was a member of law enforcement could be a factor, given efforts in recent years by the NFL to foster a positive and productive relationship between police officers and players.
The distribution of cash by Beckham to LSU players provides a separate cause for concern. If the NCAA directs LSU to disassociate itself from Beckham, the NFL may feel compelled to act against Beckham in some way, given the league’s constant efforts to keep content the custodians of its free farm system.