Advertisement

Brandon McManus allegations put NFL in delicate spot

In most cases involving allegations of off-field misconduct against a player, the NFL's mission is simple. Find the facts and, if the player violated the Personal Conduct Policy, drop the hammer.

As to the new allegations against former Jaguars (now Commanders) kicker Brandon McManus, the NFL is in a delicate spot. Because the Jaguars also have been sued for failing to supervise McManus and failing to create a safe environment on the flight to London, the team's front-line defense will be, ideally, that McManus didn't do anything wrong. Having the NFL take that position off the table will make it harder for the Jaguars to win in court.

So which will it be for 345 Park Avenue? Downplay the situation to help the Jaguars? Or aggressively investigate/discipline McManus and damn the legal torpedoes?

There's a sweet spot in which the league finds that McManus did it in a way that absolves the Jaguars. That won't be easy. And the effort will be fairly obvious, if it happens.

It's a common problem for employers who face lawsuits because of the alleged misconduct of specific employees. There's a strong temptation to circle the wagons and deny, deny, deny until the lawsuit is over, because the desire to protect the coffers supersedes whatever policies are in place to protect coworkers and third parties against misconduct.