The NFL has not previously placed running back Alvin Kamara on paid leave, even though he’s facing felony battery charges in Nevada. Saturday’s development hasn’t changed that position.
A league spokesman told PFT on Saturday that the new video from TMZ.com that purports to show the attack, with Kamara engaged in it, will not change Kamara’s status.
“We continue to monitor all legal developments in the matter which remains under review,” the league said.
Paid leave is available for players facing, among other things, felony assault or battery charges. But it’s not mandatory. Each decision is made on a case-by-case basis.
And each case is driven, as a practical matter, by very real P.R. considerations. The Personal Conduct Policy is a P.R. tool. Paid leave is part of that policy. It ultimately gives the league the ability to determine whether having a player on the field, and in turn having broadcast partners check the box on his pending legal developments, is sufficiently harmful to the brand to justify paying him to go away while the criminal case ends.
Kamara has a hearing set for November 9. Once it resolves, Kamara faces discipline, including a potential baseline suspension of six games.