The NFL suspended Josh Brown for the first game of the 2016 season as punishment for his 2015 arrest for domestic violence. At the time, many people thought that punishment was light. But now that police have released Brown’s journal entries – in which he admitted to abusing his ex-wife numerous times – it seems non-existent.
If the league had access to these journals when it handed out the one-game suspension, well, we could have another Ray Rice situation on our hands.
“The league is adamant it did not have access to the journals,” CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Now if you’re saying the Giants did and they didn’t share that with the league, I would presume that would be a significant misstep. Although when it comes to these kind of things, who knows? I am often confused as to how we end up with the outcomes we end up with in the first place. So to really know the inner workings of these investigations and who knew what at what time, it’s very rare that we do. The reality is, they had a program in place where journals or not, they could have said this was six games because we said it was going to be six games if you are involved in a domestic situation. Whether the Giants saw the journals or not, ownership made it pretty clear yesterday that they were aware there had been instances of abuse and they knew about the Pro Bowl situation at the hotel and I guess weren’t sure of the extent. I don’t know that that would necessarily matter to a lot of people, but that was the situation and they still felt like it made sense for their organization to not just stand by this guy, but resign him. He was a free agent. They could have just let it go and let that be someone else’s problem.”
They did not.
“They resigned him anyway and then stood by him through the one-game suspension and obviously now have not terminated his contract; they’ve just said he’s inactive,” La Canfora said. “Ben McAdoo is in London saying, ‘Hey, we still support Josh.’ So at some point, the league may have to come in, double jeopardy again like Ray Rice, and hand down another set of discipline, which could open themselves up to a legal fight or what have you. But the league is going to have to figure out a way to keep him off the football field. We’ll see how quickly they determine that.”
Speaking of the aforementioned Rice, he is one of several high-profile black NFL players to receive a significant punishment from the league office in recent years. Brown, who is white, received essentially a slap on the wrist.
Is there a double standard here?
“I could understand why players have broached that topic,” La Canfora said. “I could understand why guys say, ‘Wait a minute. What would have happened if this guy was a person of color?’ I don’t know the answer. I don’t. Perception, to some degree, is reality, so I get why that topic is being brought up. It’s really, frankly, not a question for me to answer. That’s one for Roger Goodell and all the new disciplinary investigative people they’ve brought in. But the league has a significant problem. If they followed their own guidelines and erred on the side of caution, it would tend to help them more times than not. But that’s not what they’re doing.”
In other NFL news, there are whispers that Chip Kelly’s days in the NFL could be numbered. The 49ers, at 1-5, are one of the worst teams in football, and there are – or could be – several openings at high-profile schools this offseason, including LSU, Texas, Oregon and Penn State, among others.
Might Kelly return to the college ranks this offseason?
“(A lot of coaches) don’t think he’s doing himself any favors by staying in an untenable situation, and it certainly looks to be an untenable situation when you look at the roster, quarterbacks, offensive personnel and in general how his offense has functioned – or failed to function – in the pro game,” La Canfora said. “The longer he goes without having put something out there that attracts a booster’s attention that keeps him as an A-list guy, the harder it is for him to land those kind of jobs. That’s a total rebuild there. They haven’t even hit rock bottom yet, which is crazy to say. But from a roster standpoint, they may lose more games this year than last year, and Chip Kelly, each year his offense has looked worse than the year before – and now there’s not that much lower you can go. . . . I don’t know what he’ll do, but I can tell you this: People will reach out. And with the number of high-profile jobs, this might be his last best chance to get out while the getting is still really good. I’m not reporting that he is leaving. I’m not reporting that he’s looking to leave. But if he’s looking to leave, not a whole lot of people would be surprised.”