Though NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to announce any disciplinary measures for Minnesota Vikings' offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie for McKinnie's assault with a deadly weapon of an individual outside of a Miami bar last February, it appears that the Vikings expect a decision very soon. And, from all indications, McKinnie can expect a minimum of a four-game suspension.
A four-game suspension would seem lenient in this case, given McKinnie's transgression and the league's priority of stemming such activities. Following numerous off-the-field legal incidents, Goodell suspended Adam Jones and Chris Henry for one year and eight games, respectively. Jones' suspension resulted from transgressions that included incidents in which others were caused bodily harm. Henry's suspension resulted primarily for on-going alcohol and drug abuse.
A repeat offender under league disciplinary rules, McKinnie is now subject to league disciplinary action. And though his actions in scope versus Jones and in number versus Henry and Jones seem to pale, Jones' and Henry's cases are not necessarily sufficiently instructive regarding the penalty that McKinnie should expect to receive from the league.
Following the May 2007 suspensions of Jones and Henry, Goodell announced a more deterrent-minded NFL code of conduct than that which governed the Jones and Henry suspensions. Acting under the new code of conduct, Goodell appears more intent at meeting out strong penalties for those subject to league suspension for the first time. On Tuesday, Goodell put the new code of conduct into force, suspending former Minnesota Vikings' defensive end Darrion Scott three games for gross misdemeanor child endangerment.
Under the old standard, McKinnie likely could have expected no less than a four-game suspension. Under the new standard, as applied in the case of Scott, who isn't even playing in the NFL at the moment, it would not be inconceivable for McKinnie to receive an eight-game suspension for his metal-pipe wielding actions in Miami.
Up Next: McKinnie's Replacement. Plus, NFC North turmoil.