The method of prospective reinstatement for St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams already is underway, league sources stated Wednesday.
Williams, by means of his advisers, has been in contact with high-ranking NFL officials to discuss what steps are to be taken in the course of his indefinite suspension to permit him to apply for reinstatement.
Williams was suspended for his function in the New Orleans Saints’ “bounty” scandal, in which he supplied payments to his defenders for cart-off or knock-out hits in the course of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons.
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The league has worked with suspended parties in the past to prescribe a course of action for reinstatement — not unlike what Michael Vick went by means of after his dogfighting case — and there is constant contact among the sides as element of it. In common, the suspended person is advised to keep a low profile until the stage exactly where he is volunteering and starting the public component of the method. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell traditionally has been very hands on, with direct conversations and private meetings with these involved throughout the extent of their suspension.
Although there is a perception that Williams may well be banished from the game for life, or for a lengthy period of time, that in reality could end up not becoming the case. History of such circumstances below Goodell would speak to a procedure whereby, if followed closely, leads to reinstatement. Williams’ case is various than several, in that the bounty allegations are more directly tied to the nature of the game itself, but Rams coach Jeff Fisher currently has created public comments about his willingness to welcome the coordinator back to his staff if and when he is reinstated.
Williams is eligible for potential reinstatement the day right after the Super Bowl — less than a year away — and, according to those who have been in contact with him, he has been utilizing his time away from football to reflect upon and think critically about how to emerge from this as a greater coach, and how to enact positive change from it.
Williams could be required to give speeches and perform outreach work related to player safety and sportsmanship as portion of the reinstatement method, and he has been prepared to comply in any way possible through the early stages of this approach, according to league sources.
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