Finally. Finally. We might be closing the book on the NFL’s PED investigation into James Harrison, Julius Peppers, and Clay Matthews.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano went on NFL Insiders yesterday afternoon with a brief update of where Roger Goodell and the league stands after meeting with Harrison and the others.
He noted the league did not bring any new evidence to the interview, relying on the original Al-Jazeera report, part of which has been recanted.
“There wasn’t any kind of new evidence or any other allegations that they didn’t expect. So based on that, the players, who claim they have nothing to hide, would expect that going forward the league would clear them in the same manner and as publicly as Peyton Manning,” Graziano said.
Manning, who talked with the league weeks ago, has been exonerated.
It’s disappointing, though unfortunately, not the least bit surprising, the league doesn’t appear to have any other evidence outside of a murky, walked-back report. Goodell certainly seemed to imply they had other evidence.
But a lack of evidence, and the player’s eventual cooperation, would signal an end to this witch hunt. And Harrison, the Steelers, and fans can focus solely on football and hopefully end most of these offseason storylines. Martavis Bryant. Le’Veon Bell. Harrison.
All that would remain is Ladarius Green’s concuss-ankle which at least is grounded in football.
Tonight would signify the beginning of that focus, for us on the outside, with the Steelers’ tune-up game against the New Orleans Saints. Most of the first team offense and arguably all of the first team defense will play a half. Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Bell may be limited to less than that.
But if that can be the main headline, for once, I’m all for it.
I’m guessing you feel the same way.