Here’s the full letter sent by NFL Senior Vice President of Labor Policy Adolpho Birch to Josh Brown regarding the decision to place him on the commissioner’s exempt list, via Adam Schefter.
“Dear Mr. Brown:
On October 19, the King County (WA) Sheriff’s Office announced publicly that it had closed its investigation in connection with the May 22, 2015 altercation between you and your former wife, Molly Brown. As part of its report, the Sheriff’s Office released a volume of documents from its investigation, including in particular a transcript of Ms. Brown’s interview with law enforcement investigators and numerous e-mails, journal entries and other materials, many of which were reportedly authored by you.
As you may be aware, the NFL made multiple requests of the Sheriff’s Office for any and all pertinent information developed through its investigation. Because the Sheriff’s Office was treating its investigation as an open matter, however, the NFL’s requests were rejected and the materials first became known and available to us at the same time they were released publicly. The released materials appear to contain information regarding other incidents of abuse separate from the May 22, 2015 incident for which you were disciplined under the Personal Conduct Policy. As a result, further investigation by the league into those separate incidents is needed.
Accordingly, this will advise that, pursuant to the Personal Conduct Policy, Commissioner Goodell has placed you on the Reserve/Commissioner Exempt list on a limited and temporary basis to permit the league fully to review the materials and determine whether further action is necessary. We expect to conduct this review expeditiously and make any appropriate adjustments to your roster status in a timely manner.
Your placement on Commissioner Exempt does not represent a finding that you have violated the Personal Conduct Policy. Prior to any determination in that respect, you will be given an opportunity to review our investigatory report, meet with the league, and/or present relevant information on your behalf as provided for by the Policy.
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.
You may appeal this decision to place you on Commissioner Exempt by providing written notice to [email protected] or by fax to xxx xxx xxxx within three business days of receiving this letter. If you appeal, a hearing will be held promptly before the Commissioner or his designee pursuant to Article 46 of the CBA.
The league will soon contact you regarding the other incidents and any additional investigatory steps that must be taken. The NFLPA will be fully advised and your full cooperation is expected and appreciated. In the interim, if you have any questions concerning this matter, you or your representative may contact me at the address or number below.”
Multiple sources tell Mortensen that there’s real doubt that Brown would ever kick again in the NFL.
While on the commissioner’s exempt list, Brown would still be able to collect his base salary of approximately $1.15 million and he has the ability to appeal being placed on the list.
Art Stapleton confirms that this is likely the next course of action based on what sources have told him and the comments made by Giants owner John Mara last night.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has placed a number of players involved in domestic abuse on the commissioner’s exempt list in recent years including Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy, so this wouldn’t come as a huge surprise.
Anyone placed on the commissioner’s exempt list is excluded from all team activities and the decision to pay them is determined by the team, per Stapleton.
The Giants and the NFL have both come under a lot of criticism in the past few days since documents were obtained by a number of outlets that show Brown admitted to domestic violence involving his ex-wife in letters, emails and a journal.
New York has elected to sign former Bears K Robbie Gould to a contract and has flown him to London for their game against the Rams.
However, the Giants have maintained publicly that they stand behind Brown and plan to have him as part of their team moving forward, even though they previously took a zero-tolerance stance on domestic abuse.
Brown, 37, is in the first year of his new two-year, $4 million contract that included $1 million guaranteed. He stands to make a bases salary of $1.225 million for the 2016 season.
In 2016, Brown has appeared in five games for the Giants and converted 11 of 12 field goal attempts (91.7 percent) to go along with all nine extra point tries and 15 touchbacks.
We’ll have more regarding Brown as the news is available.