In a perfect Ezekiel Elliott world, Harold Henderson will reduce or nullify the star running back’s six-game suspension. But if he doesn’t, well, how much legal ground would Elliott and his lawyers have to stand on?
As it turns out, not much.
“Virtually none,” legal analyst Amy Dash said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “What they’re going to try to do is go the procedural route and say that Harold Henderson didn’t follow the procedural requirements of an arbitration. If Harold Henderson doesn’t allow Tiffany Thompson to be present and to testify at the arbitration hearing, for example, they can use that as procedural grounds to say that it wasn’t a fair arbitration. If they don’t get access to certain evidence – like investigators notes, which they’ve requested – they can use that.
“But some of these things were done already in the Tom Brady lawsuit,” Dash continued, “and Tom Brady failed. Adrian Peterson failed. I don’t think that they will succeed in the legal route, and that is because federal appeals courts in Minnesota and in New York and pretty much everywhere feel that arbitration awards are bargained for under these collective bargaining agreements and that the courts really have no place interfering with them because it undermines the entire purpose of arbitration, which is to have independent settlements and to unclog the court system and keep these things out of the courts.”
If the six-game suspension stands, Elliott would not be eligible to play until Oct. 29, when Dallas plays Washington on the road in Week 8.