MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Late Thursday afternoon Adrian Peterson’s appeal before an NFL hearing officer wrapped up.
This was the second day of the hearing.
While Peterson made a statement at the hearing on Tuesday, he didn’t appear in person Thursday but reportedly listened in via conference call.
The hearing officer did hear from Troy Vincent, the NFL’s vice president of football operations, who Peterson secretly recorded.
Legal experts WCCO spoke with say the recorded conversation between Vincent and Peterson could help Peterson, but only if the transcript makes it clear that the discussion was a promise of a lesser punishment from the league
Joe Tamburino is a criminal defense attorney who has represented Vikings players in the past.
“If that was a firm promise and if Mr. Vincent had the authority from the NFL, specifically Roger Goodell, to make that promise than Adrian Peterson has a case. There is no doubt about it,” Tamburino said.
Vincent was not able to testify on the first day of the hearing because was appearing before a Senate panel on domestic violence. Vincent, a former player, became emotional.
“Domestic violence was a way of life in my home growing up. I relate to the twenty million victims, survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse in every community across our great nation,” he said.
Another variable in the Peterson case is the ruling late last month that Commissioner Roger Goodell had punished Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice too harshly and that Rice should be reinstated.
But Tamburino does not think the Rice case will help Peterson.
“The hearing officer found that there was nothing misleading about Ray Rice’s statement and, in fact, Mr. Goodell just abused his discretion and acted arbitrarily when he changed his mind,” he said,
At the end of the day NFL rules give enormous discretion to Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has ruled that Peterson is out for the season.
But Goodell has also come under fire for his handling of domestic abuse cases all season and he is almost certainly feeling more pressure to settle the Peterson case quickly.