Would not have mattered if it was the team or the league- the league and NFLPA definition of a "suspension" would have gotten a grievance by the NFLPA. The team nor the league has a legal leg to stand on to- by definition- suspend him.
This Commissioner's exempt list is the new way of being able to do this kind of crap. Kind of like the NFL's version of the Patriot Act. "We can do whatever we want under the guise of 'personal conduct'."
More like a way to get him to agree to this without kicking up a fuss.
The team was going to keep playing him. Rivera said that last week and Gettleman confirmed it today. But the NFL needed him to go away because of their current PR nightmares.
So they tell him "We'll suspend you with or without pay, your choice" knowing exactly what choice he'd make.
And I'm saying if they did I think they'd get an immediate appeal by the NFLPA.
Which keeps the story in the news, exactly what the League doesn't want.
Gettleman said the team was definitely not going to suspend him (specifically said suspension "was not on the table") so the League then comes to Hardy and the team and says "Look, you're going away one way or the other. You want it paid or unpaid?" Hardy wisely chooses 'paid'.
That makes sense. Surely, avoiding the NFLPA has something to do with it, right?