Josh Brown will not be playing for the New York Giants anytime soon. The team placed him on the exempt/commissioner’s permission list Friday afternoon, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. Mortensen added that his source said that Brown has “has kicked his last kick” with the Giants.
While this sounds pretty similar to a suspension, it’s not exactly the case. Brown will be paid during his absence. In the league’s letter to Brown, as shown by ProFootballTalk, Brown’s limitations under the exempt list are detailed:
While on Commissioner Exempt, you may not practice or attend games, but with club permission you may be present at the club’s facility for meetings, individual workouts, therapy and rehabilitation, and other permitted non-football activities. You will be paid your salary pursuant to the terms of your contract and will continue to participate in all applicable benefit plans for which you otherwise qualify under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. You also will continue to accrue free agency and pension credit pursuant to the terms of the CBA.
In the original investigation, Brown was suspended for one game, despite the personal conduct policy calling for a six-game minimum for first-time offenders. After police documents surfaced on Wednesday night that showed Brown admitting to abusing his wife, the NFL claims to have tried to obtain the documents. The league says it couldn’t because the King County Sheriff’s Office would not release them until it had concluded its own investigation.
On Thursday, the league decided to reopen its investigation into Brown based on the new information:
In light of the release of these documents yesterday, we will thoroughly review the additional information and determine next steps in the context of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy. We will not be making any comments on potential discipline until that time."
Back in April, an arbitrator ruled that the NFL’s ability to place players under paid leave with the exempt list was a valid practice. It was challenged by the NFLPA in January of 2015 after the league’s owners ratified the NFL’s revised conduct policy.
This happened after Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy spent most of the 2014 season on the list while they were under investigation. The NFLPA didn’t like the league essentially putting players on paid leave while it figured out what kind of discipline it would hand out.
The same day the NFL released its statement, the Giants released a statement on Brown, concluding, “We remain supportive of Josh and his efforts.” This was despite knowledge of his actions.
Now, Brown’s future with the team is unknown. But in previous cases of being added to the exempt list such as Peterson’s and Hardy’s, the player has remained with the team.