Sunday, November 19, 2017

Dave’s take: Player treatment by the dolphins (and the NFL)

Late in the preseason, Jarvis Landry found himself accused of domestic abuse. The dolphins investigated and found no wrongdoing and didn’t take any action. And as far as that goes, whatever.

But a video surfaced last week that shows the incident, and I have to ask, is it any worse (or better) than we saw/heard from Ezekiel Elliot, who got suspended for 6 games?

But he’s a contributor in a contract year, and by all accounts, a good teammate.

Then you had Lawrence Timmons who simply up and left the team during their extended bye early in the season. He was admonished and suspended for a couple of weeks, but is still with the team. Why? Because he’s a contributor, and by all accounts, a good teammate.

Then you have Jay Ajayai, who recovered from a team infraction last season and was a solid contributor. He didn’t do anything off the field that caused a stir. But he was - according to the team - a bad teammate because he complained about not getting enough touches and so was traded.

It felt almost like a “how dare you question the coaching staff?!” Moment. This is the kind of thing I would expect from players. They are being competitive  and fired up.

And then yesterday there was the Rey Maualuga story. He was out of shape and took a while to get into the flow. Then he gets arrested, and without even a second thought, he gets cut. 

So he wasn’t a contributor, I guess? 

It’s up to the team and the coaching staff to decide how to deal with players and their conduct. And we have no clue what happens in the locker room or their private lives. 

But as a casual fan, it feels sort of haphazard, like there’s no real policy - just gut feelings and unusual decisions. 

I mentioned Elliott for a reason, because the patchwork of player conduct rules extends well beyond the dolphins and into the nfl more broadly. It seems like there should be more rigor around the way players are treated so it doesn’t appear this way. 

Every team wants to win and stay out of the news for the wrong reasons. I get it. That’s why kaepernick is toxic; signing him would bring more media attention for something beyond football. 

But the nfl is extending its image problem. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s time to move on from godell as commissioner. Time for someone else to help set up a policy that keeps young players in check, while allowing them to use their platform and social media to promote themselves positively, along with their causes. 

That’s my two cents.