Doubts about Josh Brown’s future with the New York Giants rest not in the criminal justice system or the court of public opinion but strictly on the playing field, so said team owner and president John Mara when addressing the media on Wednesday.
Last week, Brown was suspended one game by the NFL for a domestic violence arrest. All of this came after an offseason where Brown re-signed with the team, a two-year contract that rewards him for an outstanding 2015 season. But now it turns out that last year was played out against a backdrop for Brown that included domestic violence, an arrest and 911 calls.
The NFL handed out a less stiff than usual suspension for Brown based off their investigation. The Giants too are standing by the league’s ruling, perhaps implicating that the nature of the incident and any guilt is not solely on Brown’s shoulders but shared among all parties. It is a complicated issue and one still clouded with concerns and plenty of questions.
But one question, at least at this juncture, is not how this will impact Brown and his future with the Giants. Mara said that neither the suspension nor the arrest will factor into the team’s kicker making the 53-man roster.
The Giants signed Randy Bullock on Wednesday and they expect to use both kickers for Saturday’s preseason game.
“That is going to be a football decision,” Mara told reporters on Wednesday. “There will be a competition and that will be up to the coach.”
Mara stayed on message during the press conference, not straying into semantics. He didn’t excuse Brown’s actions or try to explain away the situation or minimize it. The fact is that it is a complicated situation and one where the details are murky at best.
The Giants owner is perfectly willing to let the NFL’s ruling abide while things play out on the field.
“Well, one thing that you learn when you are dealing with these issues is that there is a big difference between allegations and convictions, or indictments, and it is very difficult, sometimes, to sort through all of that and make informed decisions,” Mara said. “We attempted to make an informed decision here, we will live with the results of that decision and we move forward. A lot of times there is a tendency to try to make these cases black and white. They are very rarely black and white; you very rarely have a Ray Rice video. There are allegations made, you try to sort through the facts and you try to make an informed decision. That is what we did here.”