NFL Players Association Wants Adrian Peterson Reinstated Immediately
Just days after entering a plea to reduced offenses related to the felony child abuse charges that were made against him earlier this season, charges which led to his indefinite suspension from the NFL, the NFL Player’s union says that Minnesota Vikings Running Back Adrian Peterson should be reinstated immediately:
The NFL Players Association sent a letter to the NFL on Friday, calling for the immediate reinstatement of Adrian Peterson per the agreement the sides made for the Minnesota Vikings running back to go on the commissioner’s exempt list in September, according to sources.
The agreement to place Peterson on the commissioner’s exempt list explicitly states that Peterson would be removed from the list upon resolution of his legal matter, sources said. Peterson pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor last week.
If the NFL declines to comply with the agreement, the NFLPA can then file an expedited non-injury grievance to have Peterson reinstated immediately.
The NFL wants: Peterson to submit all evidence from his court case; independent experts to review those documents; independent experts to make a recommendation on discipline; and after that, they want him to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss what happened to make a disciplinary decision, which could be creating a new precedent for the new personal conduct policy.
In the first sentence of the letter the NFL sent to Peterson, the league specifically refers to the “felony Injury to a Child” charge — a clear signal that a no-contest plea to misdemeanor assault may have omitted any reference to child abuse but the NFL will not ignore the incident in its review.
Another NFL official said the agreement was for Peterson to be on paid leave until the completion of his legal proceeding, at which time the matter would be reviewed for potential discipline under the personal conduct policy — that review is what is taking place now. In other words, no discipline would be processed until there was a resolution by the court. Now the NFL is in the process of the disciplinary review and trying to move as quickly as possible.
NBC Sports, meanwhile, reports that there is an “internal battle” going on over Peterson’s fate:
So why would the NFL blatantly renege on an agreement to reinstate running back Adrian Peterson once his legal case is resolved? The league may simply be buying time for Peterson’s team.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, an entity that is partially owned by the Vikings, reports that the Vikings currently are engaged in an “internal battle” over whether Peterson should return. Rapoport explained that there is disagreement among “some executives” with the team.
He didn’t name names, so it’s impossible to know who is on which side of this specific schism. (However, it’s likely that any executives opposed to bringing Peterson back don’t need more wins than losses to remain employed.)
With seven weeks left in the season counting this week, and the Vikings stuck near the bottom of the NFC North with seemingly little prospect of making it to the playoffs at this point, there may be enough time for the league to delay this decision long enough that it ends up being something that can be dealt with after the regular season is over would seem to be fairly good. That being said, it will have to be dealt with at some point and given the fact that Peterson’s legal case is over and that the charges he has plead guilty to are relatively minor it seems like it’s going to be next to impossible for the league to stop him from getting on the field at some point.