Adrian Peterson pleaded ‘no contest’ yesterday to a misdemeanour charge of reckless assault which arose out of him ‘punishing’ his child. He was fined $4,000.00 and ordered to perform 80 hours of community service.
With the legal proceedings out of the way, the question now is whether or not the NFL, through Commissioner Goodell, will re-instate Peterson and allow him to play the balance of the NFL season. Since playing the first game, Peterson has missed seven games.
The NFL has said it will review the Court documents and other material prior to making a decision. Given the recent backlash over the handling of the Ray Rice affair, you can bet that the NFL will proceed with extreme caution in an effort to avoid a similar public outcry over lenient penalties.
Peterson must at least serve the minimum six match suspension for being involved in a ‘domestic violence’ situation. Given that he has been on full pay whilst on the Commissioner’s Permission List (by the way, the only player that is on that list), the suspension would see him penalised around $5.4 million of salary.
A decision by the NFL could still be some weeks away, so I would think that the six games plus games missed while a decision is being made, is sufficient penalty, bearing in mind that any second offence brings a lifetime ban.
The NFL is only the first hurdle for Peterson to get over though as the Minnesota Vikings have yet to indicate whether they will play him even if he becomes eligible. That may be a tougher sell for Peterson than the NFL.