Here’s the full release from the NFL regarding Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension:
Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys was notified today by the NFL that he will be suspended without pay for the team’s first six 2017 regular-season games for violating the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.
Over the course of the last year, the league conducted an extensive investigation. League investigators interviewed more than a dozen witnesses, including Ms. Tiffany Thompson, who had alleged multiple instances of physical violence in July 2016, and Mr. Elliott. The league also consulted with medical experts. League investigators examined all available evidence, including photographic and digital evidence, thousands of text messages and other records of electronic communications.
Pursuant to the Personal Conduct Policy, Commissioner Goodell sought the views of four external advisors (see below) to assist him in evaluating potential violations. These experts range in experience from law enforcement, judicial and public service, and other specialized subject areas.
The advisors participated in a meeting on June 26, 2017 in New York City with Elliott, who was represented by his legal team and the NFL Players Association. The group also reviewed the league’s investigative reports and materials, the expert medical reports, and multiple NFL Players Association submissions on Elliott’s behalf.
In a letter to Elliott advising him of the decision, Todd Jones, the NFL’s Special Counsel for Conduct, said these advisors “were of the view that there is substantial and persuasive evidence supporting a finding that [Elliott] engaged in physical violence against Ms. Thompson on multiple occasions during the week of July 16, 2016.”
After reviewing the record, and having considered the views of the independent advisors, the commissioner determined that the credible evidence established that Elliott engaged in conduct that violated NFL policy.
Elliott may appeal this decision within three days. If he does not appeal, Elliott’s suspension will begin September 2, the day of final roster reductions for NFL teams. He is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. Elliott will be eligible to return to the team’s active roster on Monday, October 23 following the Cowboys’ Sunday, October 22 game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Adam Schefter is reporting that the NFL has suspended Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott for the first six games of the 2017 season. According to Schefter, Elliott is expected to appeal the suspension and will have three days to do so.
- Schefter reports that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is said to be furious with NFL decision.
Schefter adds that the NFL believes they investigated Elliott’s case “thoughtfully, thoroughly and extensively” and that he violated the personal conduct policy. The NFL reported looked through text messages and retained medical and legal experts to aid the process of determining suitable punishment for Elliott.
The NFL reportedly considered the domestic violence allegations against Elliott from February and July 2016, as well as the St. Patrick’s Day incident in which he pulled down a woman’s shirt, but this particular incident did not factor into the league’s decision on discipline, according to Schefter.
Cris Carter mentioned earlier in the week that a suspension was coming for Elliott and that if could factor in evidence of domestic violence and potentially destroyed evidence in connection with the investigation.
Elliott is accused of five incidents of domestic violence that took place over over the course of a six-day period in July 2016.
Indications have been that Elliott could be facing up a ban of around six games, but it appears as though the NFL really wanted to send a message with this decision.
If Elliott serves the full six-game suspension, he would miss games against Giants, Broncos, Cardinals, Rams, Packers and 49ers.
Joel Corry points out that Elliott’s $8,156,274 of salary guarantees would go away if his suspension is upheld.
Elliott, 21, was taken with the No. 4 overall pick by the Cowboys back in May. He signed four-year contract worth $24,956,342, which includes a signing bonus of $16,350,068.
Elliott stands to make base salaries of $1.58 million (2017), $2.71 million (2018), and $3.85 million (2019) over the remainder of the contract. The agreement also includes a fifth-year option for the team to consider in 2019.
In 2016, Elliott has appeared in 16 games for the Cowboys and rushed for 1,631 yards on 322 carries (5.1 YPC) to go along with 32 receptions for 363 yards receiving and 16 total touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 2 running back out of 62 qualifying players.