NFL could still investigate, discipline Von Miller

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The news that Broncos linebacker Von Miller won’t face charges ends the involvement of the criminal justice system. It doesn’t mean the matter conclusively and completely has ended, however.

The NFL still has the power to investigate and to discipline Miller under the Personal Conduct Policy, if the NFL sees fit. In the aftermath of the Ray Rice fiasco of 2014, the NFL beefed up its in-house ability and willingness to explore allegations of misconduct on its own, ignoring whether and to what extent the authorities prosecuted the player — and whether and to what extent he was found responsible in any way for the behavior.

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, for example, was neither arrested nor charged. The NFL nevertheless suspended Elliott for six games in 2017 based on information obtained through multiple interviews of a former girlfriend who claimed he assaulted her on multiple occasions.

The allegations against Miller, if any, aren’t known. All that’s known is that there was some sort of investigation, that the police eventually referred the matter for consideration as to whether charges should be pursued, and that charges won’t be pursued.

Often, charges aren’t pursued because the prosecutor believes it will be difficult if not impossible to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The NFL, however, used a lower standard of proof.

Miller also could be subject to a civil lawsuit. Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown was sued in 2019 for sexual assault and rape, even though he was never arrested or charged. (The league has deferred action under the Personal Conduct Policy pending the outcome of the litigation.)

For Miller and the Broncos, the more immediate question is whether the team will pick up his $18 million option for 2021 or, if not, whether they can reach an agreement on a reduced deal.

NFL could still investigate, discipline Von Miller originally appeared on Pro Football Talk