It took nearly two years, but the NFL has officially won its battle with Adrian Peterson stemming from his suspension in 2014. On Thursday, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that commissioner Roger Goodell did indeed act within his right granted by the collective bargaining agreement in suspending Peterson and fining him the equivalent of six game checks.
Previously, a district court dismissed Goodell's original sanctions and ruled that Peterson could return to the field.
Thursday's ruling has no impact on Peterson's 2016 season as he won't be forced to sit out additional games, but he will have to pay a sum of six games' pay.
"The Commissioner is the chief executive officer of the NFL," the ruling states. "Article 46 of the Agreement authorizes the Commissioner to impose discipline for 'conduct detrimental to the integrity of, or public confidence in, the game of professional football.' The standard NFL player contract further acknowledges that the Commissioner has the power 'to fine player in a reasonable amount; to suspend player for a period certain or indefinitely; and/or to terminate this contract.' The Agreement does not define 'conduct detrimental' or prescribe maximum or presumptive punishments for such conduct."
This ruling affirms that Goodell does indeed have the power to discipline players within the collective bargaining agreement. This same narrative was evidenced in Tom Brady's suspension and appeal, as well.
"We are not convinced that the arbitrator exceeded his authority in the manner alleged," the ruling read. "The arbitrator concluded that the August 2014 communications did not change the June 2014 Personal Conduct Policy."