The latest coming out of the Josh Brown saga features a dispute between the NFL and NFLPA regarding the handling of this case. The NFL is under fire for its one-game suspension of the Giants kicker, but a source informs Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk the league received pressure from the NFLPA on this matter.
Brown’s suspension for Week 1 came down more than 14 months after the domestic abuse arrest occurred, and the league acted before the King County (Wash.) Sheriff’s Office finished its investigation — one that produced the confession Brown had abused his ex-wife. The source informed Florio the NFLPA was putting pressure on the league to reach a decision quickly. That wouldn’t be a good look for the union considering the details unearthed by the legal investigation would have likely triggered a longer suspension. Brown is now on the commissioner’s exempt list, and the 37-year-old’s prospects of kicking again in light of these revelations are slim.
The NFLPA denies this claim, a source familiar with the union’s thinking told Florio, and dismisses the notion union-generated pressure would have mattered since the league has full autonomy regarding the application of the personal conduct policy. The NFL waited 14 months to render its tame verdict, and waiting until the police concluded their investigation could have saved it from some more bad PR optics.
Here’s more from around the league as the Sunday-night NFC West battle awaits its first touchdown.
- Brown’s placement on the exempt list is expected to clear a path for Robbie Gould to become the Giants’ full-time kicker, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Gould likely does not sign with the Giants if he wasn’t going to have the opportunity to win the job and have a chance to finish the season with the team, per Rapoport. The longtime Bears kicker worked out for the Browns earlier this season in what would have been for a shorter-term fix, but this unfortunate circumstance opened the door for another regular gig.
- The initial plan for LeSean McCoy was to miss Sunday’s Bills-Dolphins game, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets. Anderson initially reported McCoy was facing a potential multi-game absence, but the Bills’ top ball-carrying weapon said postgame he felt fine during pregame warmups, per Josh Alper of PFT. Rex Ryan added he wouldn’t have put McCoy out there if he wasn’t 100 percent, though McCoy leaving the game early could delay his timetable and place his status for next week’s key Patriots tilt in question. Shady characterized the injury as minor, but hamstring maladies are particularly troublesome for skill-position talents.
- Cameron Erving left the Ohio showdown, and the Browns‘ starting center will undergo tests Monday, Hue Jackson said (via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com). Jackson categorized this as an illness, but Cabot notes if this is related to the bruised lung he sustained against the Ravens earlier this season then the second-year blocker could be lost for the remainder of 2016. The Browns removed him at halftime. Cleveland’s line, which moved on from Mitchell Schwartz and Alex Mack after free agency defections, already lost Joel Bitonio for the season earlier this month. Reserve center Austin Reiter also tore his ACL in Week 4.
- In advance of their 27-21 victory over the Saints, the Chiefs worked out guard Kadeem Edwards, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Edwards failed to make the Jaguars’ roster out of training camp.
- We heard earlier about the Joe Thomas trade market heating up again, but Florio notes trade-related chatter hasn’t been plentiful so far. If it does ignite in advance of the 3pm CT deadline on Nov. 1, Florio lists the Jets and Bears as potential sellers, with Sheldon Richardson, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery as logical trade chips. Richardson has incurred multiple suspensions and saw the Jets award Muhammad Wilkerson with a lucrative extension, while Jeffery is playing this season on a franchise tag worth $14.599MM. Marshall, of course, has been traded three times. He’s under contract through the 2017 season, but the 32-year-old receiver doesn’t have any guaranteed money left on a deal that would slot him with a $7.5MM cap number next season.