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Terry McDonough wins $3 million from Cardinals in arbitration

The NFL's secret, rigged, kangaroo court might not be so rigged, after all.

Publicly-filed court documents show that former Cardinals executive Terry McDonough has won $3 million from the team in the arbitration process he initiated last year.

The ruling happened on Friday. The arbitration award was filed in federal court on Monday.

McDonough's claims included unlawful retaliation under the Arizona Employment Protection Act, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, and invasion of privacy.

The $3 million comes from $600,000 in emotional distress damages and $150,000 in damage to his reputation. The arbitrator also awarded McDonough a whopping $2.25 million in punitive damages against the Cardinals.

We're in the process of digesting the 62-page ruling. There surely will be some interesting quotes and conclusions. We'll highlight them in a subsequent post.

For now, the news is — and should be — that the NFL's in-house arbitration process has resulted in a very rare award for a former employee of an NFL team, and a potentially unprecedented award of punitive damages against an NFL team.

Of course, if the facts were enough to trigger that kind of an award from a process engineered to favor the NFL and its teams, the verdict in a truly independent court before a truly independent jury likely would have been much, much higher.