Well, today is the latest big day for Adrian Peterson in his quest for reinstatement to the National Football League. At 2 PM Central time in a Minneapolis courtroom, Judge David Doty will hear arguments from both the NFL and the NFLPA that will determine whether or not Peterson will be reinstated to the National Football League earlier than the (incredibly arbitrary) 15 April deadline already put down by the NFL.
Each side will present Doty with a 30-minute argument at today's hearing, and while we don't have a timeline for when Doty will issue a ruling, the NFLPA is obviously hoping for something to come down sooner rather than later. Free agency in the NFL kicks off on 10 March, and if the Minnesota Vikings are going to part ways with Peterson in some form or fashion, having him reinstated by then would maximize his value.
Ben Goessling of ESPN.com has a breakdown of what each side is going to argue today.
What the NFLPA is arguing: The union's main argument centers around the idea that Henderson -- a former NFL executive -- was biased in favor of the league and "exceeded the scope of his authority" in upholding the suspension. The NFLPA is also arguing that Peterson was disciplined unfairly under the commissioner's updated personal conduct policy, which was enacted after Peterson's incident, and that Goodell does not have the authority to order Peterson to meet with a league-appointed counselor, as he did in his Nov. 18 letter to Peterson outlining the suspension. It seeks to have Peterson's discipline set aside and the running back reinstated immediately. Moreover, the league has taken issue with the NFL's new personal conduct policy; NFLPA president Eric Winston said during a Super Bowl news conference that the union was "going to be grieving this as far as we can." A victory over the league in court would ostensibly strengthen the NFLPA's bid to have the new policy revised. The union believes a new policy should have been collectively bargained.
What the NFL is arguing: The league says Goodell had the authority to issue the suspension he handed down to Peterson, and that the collective bargaining agreement gave him the right to appoint Henderson. The league also says the union did not effectively prove Henderson's bias, and cited a 2009 ruling in the StarCaps case, involving former Vikings defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams, as precedent that disciplinary matters should be governed by the processes outlined in the CBA, not in court. The league wants Doty to uphold Henderson's ruling, giving the league power to decide when and how Peterson is reinstated.
As Goessling points out, if Doty were to rule against the NFLPA, it would pretty much be the end of the process for Peterson, as there's very little chance that the NFLPA could get any kind of hearing from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals before the NFL's (incredibly arbitrary) 15 April deadline that currently stands as the earliest that Peterson could be reinstated.
I'm not sure if anyone is going to be doing any sort of live reporting from the appeal hearing today, but if they are, I will embed their Twitter feed in this post right around 2 PM Central time.
EDIT: Per Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, if the NFLPA should lose at this hearing, there will not be another appeal.
EDIT: It appears that A.J. Mansour of KFAN and Vikings Journal will be covering the hearing live. His Twitter feed is embedded below.