Adrian Peterson‘s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, appeared on ESPN’s Mike and Mike today, and cautioned against lumping his client in with Ray Rice, writes Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. In Hardin’s view, the grand jury only decided to reconsider Peterson’s case after the elevator footage of Rice striking his then-fiancée was leaked by TMZ, and Hardin hopes that the NFL and the public will assess the two players and cases individually.
While Hardin is right that the two cases aren’t identical, they do both involve former Pro Bowl running backs missing most or all of the 2014 season due to off-field transgressions. As such, for the purposes of passing along the latest updates on both players, we’ll “lump them together” and provide today’s news right here:
- Roger Goodell was the first witness to testify under oath during Wednesday’s session, answering questions for more than two hours, including cross-examination by union attorney Jeffrey Kessler, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today.
- Rice and his wife Janay are expected to testify separately on Thursday, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Schefter adds that a source told Outside the Lines a decision could come in a matter of days after the hearing concludes, though a timetable for the ruling hasn’t been set.
- An NFLPA sources tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (TwitLonger link) that the union is taking the position that the league “knew everything” about what happened inside and outside that elevator even before league officials spoke to Rice. “We think we can prove it,” the source said. “We’ll see.”
- Rice’s grievance hearing got underway today, and Tom Pelissero of USA Today provides a primer for what to expect. As Pelissero notes, there’s no clear timetable for when U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones will reach a decision, but the hearing is scheduled to conclude tomorrow.
- Per Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (via Twitter), there were never any talks of a settlement for Rice between the NFL and NFLPA. Given the NFLPA’s push for commissioner Roger Goodell to testify at the hearing, it makes sense that the union wouldn’t be too open to a settlement.
- Ed Werder of ESPN.com outlines the next steps the league will take before making a final determination on whether Peterson will come off the commissioner’s exempt list and continue his playing career. A source tells Werder that there’s “no hurry but no delay either” on the process, which includes examining court documents, consulting domestic violence and substance abuse experts, holding a hearing with Peterson and the NFLPA, and more.
- Melissa Isaacson of ESPNW.com explains why she doesn’t think the NFL should immediately reinstate Peterson.