Well, that lasted for. . .what, five hours or so?
After the ruling from Judge David Doty that vacated the arbitration ruling of Adrian Peterson's suspension, the NFL announced that they would be appealing the ruling. And, while they do so, Adrian Peterson has been placed back on the Commissioner's Exempt List, which once again means that he can have no contact with the team.
The NFL released a statement about the matter, the full text of which is as follows:
Judge Doty's order did not contain any determinations concerning the fairness of the appeals process under the CBA, including the commissioner's longstanding authority to appoint a designee to act as hearing officer. Even so, we believe that Judge Doty's order is incorrect and fundamentally at odds with well-established legal precedent governing the district court's role in reviewing arbitration decisions. As a result, we have filed a notice of appeal to have the ruling reviewed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the interim, Adrian Peterson will be returned to the Commissioner's Exempt List pending further proceedings by appeals officer Harold Henderson or a determination by the Eighth Circuit Court.
Obviously, no date has been set for a hearing in front of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, but the odds of it being before the start of free agency on 10 March are just about nil. Then again, that's probably just the way Roger Goodell and company want it at this point. This entire matter going beyond today's ruling does more to hurt the Minnesota Vikings than it does to Adrian Peterson, as it limits the Vikings ability to actually have control over their own roster.
So, this entire charade will continue until the NFL decides it doesn't, I guess.
UPDATE: It appears I may have been incorrect about whether or not the Vikings can communicate with Peterson and his camp while he's on the Exempt list, according to Ben Goessling.
From @NFLprguy: "The commissioner's exempt list permits a player and team to communicate."— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingESPN) February 26, 2015
UPDATE: Bad news for the Vikings if the NFL is planning on waiting for the Eighth Circuit Court to make a ruling.
UPDATE: The team has released a short statement on the matter.
Adrian Peterson is an important member of the Minnesota Vikings, and our focus remains on welcoming him back when he is able to rejoin our organization. Today's ruling leaves Adrian's status under the control of the NFL, the NFLPA and the legal system, and we will have no further comment at this time.
UPDATE: One last update for tonight, as it appears now that the Vikings can do whatever they want with Peterson after 10 March when the new league year starts.
NFL says Adrian Peterson can be traded, released or have deal restructured after March 10.— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingESPN) February 26, 2015