The legal system doesn't work on the NFL's schedule. The players facing child abuse or domestic violence allegations might wait a long time for their cases to play out in the courtroom. A look at what's next in each case:
Ray Rice is appealing his indefinite suspension from the NFL on the basis that he shouldn't be punished twice for the same incident. Rice was cut by Baltimore after video surfaced showing him punching his fiancee and knocking her out cold, but was initially suspended for only two games.
Under the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, a hearing date must be set within 10 days of the appeal. But a speedy resolution might not be likely — the player's union is asking for a neutral arbitrator to determine what information about the incident was available to the NFL, and when.
Rice was going to make $4 million this year. He lost that and income from canceled endorsement deals.
The Minnesota running back is on the exempt-commissioner's permission list until a charge of reckless or negligent injury to a child in Texas is resolved. Peterson will make $11.75 million this season while he addresses allegations that he injured his 4-year-old son by spanking him with a wooden switch. Peterson is not appealing that decision by the Vikings.
His first court date is scheduled for Oct. 8 in suburban Houston's Montgomery County. Peterson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, has made it clear through his statements that he is preparing for the case will go to trial, which likely would not happen until 2015. That means if he does not reach a plea bargain earlier, Peterson could miss the entire season. He said he never intended to harm his son, but faces up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine if found guilty.
The defensive end continues to practice and play for San Francisco while being investigated on suspicion of domestic violence. McDonald is out on $25,000 bail following his Aug. 31 arrest at his San Jose home where he was celebrating his 30th birthday with teammates and friends. Police said the alleged victim had "visible injuries." A hearing is scheduled for Sept. 29.
Coach Jim Harbaugh said the 49ers would let the legal process play out before making a determination about McDonald's future. California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has called for the team to bench McDonald, but Harbaugh said: "Our response would be, we have two principles at play here, and one is respect for due process, and we're not going to flinch based on public speculation."
The 49ers restructured McDonald's $3.5 million annual base salary for this season to create salary-cap space.
Carolina's Pro Bowl defensive end is on paid leave after being placed on the NFL's exempt-commissioner's permission list. He was convicted July 15 of assault on a female and communicating threats after the victim said he threw her in the bathtub and onto a sofa covered with guns before threatening to kill her. He has appealed, putting his 60-day suspended jail sentence and 18 months of probation on hold, and a jury trial is set for Nov. 17. If acquitted, he could return to the field for the final month of the regular season.
Hardy, the team's franchise player, will continue to make more than $775,588 per week while sitting out.
The case against the Arizona backup running back is in its early stages, but the team quickly deactivated him after he was arrested Wednesday and accused of breaking his wife's nose after she refused his sexual advances and punching her in the face the next day. Dwyer spent the night in jail and was released on $25,000 bail ahead of court hearings scheduled for next week.
When asked as he left court if he will play football again, he said, "I will." But his future with the team is in serious doubt. The Cardinals placed him on the reserve/non-football list, and police said Dwyer had been sending suicidal text messages to his wife since the start of training camp.
Dwyer is on a one-year, $730,000 contract with Arizona.
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