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Colts owner Jim Irsay pleads guilty to impaired driving ... your move, NFL

Shutdown Corner

Certainly the NFL players, who saw Josh Gordon suspended a year for barely testing positive for marijuana and Aldon Smith get nine games for violations of the personal conduct policy, are interested to see what the NFL has planned for Colts owner Jim Irsay.

The NFL has apparently been waiting for the case with Irsay to play out in court, and it has now. On Tuesday Irsay plead guilty to impaired driving, stemming from his March 16 arrest. According to the Indianapolis Star, he was given a year of probation. He was also sentenced to 60 days in jail, with 58 days suspended and two days of credit for time served. He'll be drug tested during his probation, the Star said. The Star said he had oxycodone and hydrocodone in his system when he was arrested, and that officers had to continuously support Irsay to keep him from falling over.

And now the NFL is up. The league is expected to rule before Thursday's regular-season opener, and it can't fine Irsay more than $500,000 unless commissioner Roger Goodell went to the owners to request he be fined more, ESPN's Adam Schefter said.

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In many ways, Goodell is put in a position where he has to give Irsay a bigger punishment than maybe even he thinks Irsay deserves, and part of that is the thought that owners should be held to a higher standard. There will be a ton of criticism from the players if he lets an owner off easy, especially given the suspensions for other players, and the exorbitant fines for illegal hits and things like uniform code violations. The criticism probably won't reach Ray Rice levels if Irsay doesn't get hammered pretty hard, but Goodell has to know that even the appearance that he's being lenient on an owner will not be received well.

Now the legal system has had its say on the Irsay matter. Goodell is up next.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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