How NFL could suspend Eli for alleged role in memorabilia scam

Here is a concern for those Vegas odds-makers freshly emboldened by the Raiders’ upcoming relocation to Sin City: what are the chances that the Giants will win their Week 1 game this fall if Eli Manning is suspended and Geno Smith is their beginning quarterback?

That feels like the unimaginable, however it likewise could be the worst-case situation outcome of the current lawsuits versus the Giants and their star quarterback, with allegations and seemingly incriminating proof of misleading purchasers on souvenirs.

An NFL representative declined remark on Monday, and for sure, pro sports leagues seldom have good reason to go into business of commenting on hypotheticals, especially on a matter this delicate and inflammatory.

Still, consider:

The NFL’s personal conduct policy, which is “provided per the Commissioner’s authority … to address and sanction conduct damaging to the league and expert football,” covers a staggeringly broad series of infractions and situations.

A gamer does not need to dedicate a criminal offense for Roger Goodell to impose discipline. It says it right in the policy: “… even if your conduct does not result in a criminal conviction, if the league finds that you have taken part in any of the following conduct, you will go through discipline.”

And amongst a laundry list of examples of “prohibited conduct” are these descriptions: “Criminal offenses of dishonesty such as blackmail, extortion, fraud, cash laundering or racketeering …” and “perform that weakens or puts at threat the integrity of the NFL, NFL clubs or NFL workers.”

“Conduct by anybody in the league that is illegal, violent, harmful, or reckless puts innocent victims at risk, damages the reputation of others in the video game, and undercuts public regard and support for the NFL,” the policy sums up. “We must strive at all times to be people of high character; we need to reveal regard for others inside and outside our office; and we should aim to conduct ourselves in manner ins which favorably review ourselves, our teams, the neighborhoods we represent, and the NFL.”

The NFL, by nature, needs to monitor serious accusations and lawsuits against one of its landmark franchises. And so, no matter the resolution in court, if the NFL individually discovers any credibility to such allegations, Goodell absolutely would have grounds under the sweeping conduct policy to suspend Manning.

The concern is whether the proof provided suffices, though even Manning’s most devoted supporters and believers– including myself, in this case– need to confess the optics are not great.

Manning’s April 2010 e-mail that asks devices director Joe Skiba for “2 helmets that can pass as video game used” might be too unclear to determine complicity. However Display 18 could be a lot more hard to discuss.

OCT. 23, 2016, FILE PHOTO

Geno Smith (Frank Franklin II/AP)Exhibition 18 claims an email exchange offered by complainant Eric Inselberg from August 2008 where Inselberg composes to Skiba: “Hey Joe, my pal was provided an eli video game utilized helmet and jersey. Are these the bs ones eli asked you to make up due to the fact that he didn’t desire to offer up the genuine stuff?”

Skiba’s reply is noted as: “BS ones, you are correct …”

Legally, perhaps this is the kind of exchange that would seal Skiba’s fate however not Manning’s. The legal filing also defines that “no Accused has produced any version of this document, other than for the one that Inselberg provided to the New York Football Giants in 2011.”

However, and regardless of Manning’s immaculate performance history and his famously upstanding character, the NFL might use this email exchange– in combination with Manning’s 2010 email– to justify fault and grounds for a suspension.

All of this is why the most anticipated Giants interview on Thursday will not be GM Jerry Reese’s press conference however Manning’s essentially yearly address on the team’s first media accessibility during the start of organized training activities, which open Tuesday in East Rutherford.

Whether the always-accountable Manning talk with the media, and what he does or doesn’t say, could offer hints as to where this is headed.

Karen Kessler, a spokeswoman for McCarter English, attorneys for the Giants, at first released a statement last week and reminded the general public that “Eli Manning is well known for his integrity” and that accused Inselberg and other plaintiffs of just “seeking to take advantage of a big payday.”

That is certainly exactly what a lot of individuals think and want to continue to believe about Manning, the NFL’s ruling co-winner of the Walter Payton Guy of the Year Award. And I think Manning deserves the advantage of the doubt provided all we know about how admirably he has actually performed himself in his high-profile position all these years in the Big Apple.

However there does appear to be a very clear manner in which this wouldn’t simply puncture Manning’s clean image however also impact the Giants’ chances of winning on the field come the regular season in the fall.

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