5:03pm: In a pair of posts at Pro Football Talk, Mike Florio explains that when Peterson agreed to be placed on the exempt list earlier this season, he did so believing the designation would be removed once his legal case was resolved. However, the league has decided to keep him on the exempt list even though the case has concluded, which could potentially be grounds for a lawsuit.
Additionally, since accepting a de facto suspension with pay means that he hasn’t technically been disciplined, Peterson could face further penalties now, though Florio points out that it would hurt the NFL in the long run if the league doesn’t take into consideration the eight games the running back has already missed. As Florio rhetorically asks: “Why would any player decide in future cases to agree to step aside from the playing field pending the resolution of his legal case if he knows that, in the end, any playing time he has missed won’t matter?”
2:44pm: The NFL advised Vikings running back Adrian Peterson this afternoon that his case is being reviewed for potential discipline under the NFL’s personal conduct policy, writes Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Now that his criminal case has been resolved, Peterson has been asked to submit relevant information regarding his case and to meet with “designated experts” who will make recommendations for commissioner Roger Goodell to consider.
As Schefter details, Peterson will also have the opportunity to have a hearing prior to the NFL issuing any discipline. For now though, the running back’s status on the reserve/commissioner’s exempt list remains unchanged. And Schefter hears from sources that it’s “highly unlikely” there will be resolution on Peterson’s case until next week, at the earliest (Twitter link).
Although Peterson’s legal case has been resolved without a criminal conviction, his short-term NFL future remains murky. Having spent most of the season on the exempt list, the 29-year-old has already missed eight games, and because he accepted a no-contest plea, his camp will undoubtedly make the case that he should be reinstated immediately.
However, Peterson continued to receive his full salary for those eight games he missed, and hasn’t technically faced a suspension yet — the league’s new domestic violence guidelines call for a six-game ban for a first offense, but it’s not clear whether Peterson’s case falls under that umbrella, or whether that specific penalty applies only in the event there’s a conviction.
It’s also worth noting that both the NFL and the Vikings will have to make decisions on what to do with Peterson. Even if the league decides to forgo additional punishment and reinstate the running back, there’s no guarantee that Vikings ownership would be comfortable with seeing him back on the field for the club’s Week 11 game against the Bears. Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune reported today that the team continues to have “internal discussions” about whether Peterson should be allowed to play again this season.
In a PFR poll earlier today, more than half of our respondents voted that Peterson should be reinstated immediately, while more than 30% believe he should be suspended for the remainder of the 2014 season.