Terry McDonough's lawyer suggests NFL covered up Cardinals' violation of Steve Keim suspension

Tuesday’s interview of Terry McDonough's lawyer, Mike Caspino, on Doug Franz Unplugged included plenty of eyebrow-raising allegations. One set of claims arose from the notion that the Cardinals violated the terms of the five-week suspension imposed on G.M. Steve Keim in 2018, after he pleaded guilty to extreme DUI charges.

Caspino explained that the team's position in McDonough's arbitration proceeding was that former Cardinals executive Mike Disner distributed burner phones for use in communicating with Keim during his suspension and that, once owner Michael Bidwill became aware of it, he immediately gathered the devices.

But here's a twist. Caspino said that McDonough still has his burner phone. Caspino also said that he offered to give the phone to NFL general counsel Jeff Pash, and that Pash didn't want it.

There's also a question of whether Disner would corroborate Bidwill's version of the events. Caspino said that both the Cardinals and the Lions (where Disner now works) fought successfully to keep Disner from being questioned under oath in the McDonough case.

Caspino, during the interview with Franz, blasted the failure of the arbitration process to compel Disner to testify — and possibly to expose that Bidwill wasn't telling the truth.

"The NFL is a sham," Caspino said. "It exists for one reason and one reason only: To protect 32 billionaires. . . They don't care if an owner breaks the rules and in fact all they try to do is cover it up."

The good news for those who care about the truth is that Disner won't be able to avoid testifying in the separate lawsuit that McDonough, his wife, and his daughter have filed against the Cardinals and various other entities. The challenge for Caspino will be to make the "burner phone" issue sufficiently relevant to the claims in the lawsuit to allow that evidence to be pursued.

It's safe to say the Cardinals (and the Lions) will do their damnedest to keep Disner from having to answer questions as to the question of whether Bidwill was the one who stopped the "burner phone" scheme, or whether he was the one who started it.