The Bills have placed offensive line coach Aaron Kromer on indefinite paid leave following his arrest in Florida, tweets Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter link) passes along a statement from team president Russ Brandon explaining the decision.
“Over the last few days our organization has continued to gather information in regards to the alleged incident involving offensive line coach Aaron Kromer,” Brandon said in the statement. “We have been in regular discussions with the league office and have decided to place Aaron on indefinite paid administrative leave in accordance with the league’s Personal Conduct Policy while we continue to work our way through the investigative process with the league.”
Kromer, who joined the Bills this offseason after having served as the Bears’ offensive coordinator, was arrested late Saturday night on a misdemeanor battery charge. According to the Walton County Sherrif’s Office, Kromer allegedly confronted a group of three boys – who had been fishing – over the use of beach chairs. The victims told Walton County deputies that Kromer grabbed their fishing pole and threw it in the water, then pushed one of the boys to the ground and punched him in the face. The victim, a juvenile, also said Kromer threatened to kill his family if he reported the incident to the police.
The decision to place Kromer on paid leave is based on the NFL’s personal conduct policy, which last season applied to players like Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy — those players were placed on the commissioner’s exempt list while their legal situations played out. In Kromer’s case, I imagine the process will be similar, with the Bills possibly deciding to let him go and/or the league opting to suspend him if he’s determined to be guilty.
With Kromer on leave from the club, assistant offensive line coach Kurt Anderson figures to be the top candidate to take over his role, at least in the interim.