NFL insider Mike Florio calls it how he sees it.
The creator of ProFootballTalk.com, host of PFT Live and Football Night in America reporter can see a scenario where the NFL looks at disciplining Canadian receiver Chase Claypool for his role in an alleged bar fight on March 13.
“You never know what the league’s going to do under the personal conduct policy, the league has so much discretion it can do whatever it wants, frankly. The union’s agreed to the personal conduct policy, authorized the policing of players in their private lives,” Florio said on PFT Live.
“Claypool could be the victim of circumstance where this is a good opportunity to remind all these players that there is a personal conduct policy. Claypool could get whacked by the NFL for this simply to send a message to all the other players out there.”
According to TMZ, Claypool was at Wild Goose Tavern in Costa Mesa, California that evening. The Costa Mesa Police confirmed to TMZ they received a call for a fight, but when officers arrived, security told them the parties involved had already left. Nobody has been arrested or charged with a crime.
“At one point it looks like he’s goes up to a guy who is on the ground and gives him a kick, then there’s a guy who lunges at Claypool and lands face first on the ground, it looks like Claypool shoves his head back into the asphalt,” Florio said.
“Everywhere you go, anything you do, can and will be used against you because somebody else is recording it, which is why we even know about it. I love Chase Claypool, but kicking a guy on the ground isn’t cool.”
“These guys gotta know when to disengage, whether you’re a pro athlete or not. Especially, if you’re a guy who is subject to discipline from your employer for anything you do, anywhere you are — get the hell out of there when you see something going down.”
Claypool finished his first rookie season in the NFL with 62 receptions for 873 yards and nine touchdowns, plus 10 rushes for 16 yards and two scores — 11 total touchdowns. He became the first receiver in the Super Bowl era to score 10 touchdowns in his first 10 games.
“The NFL’s personal conduct policy is a tool of public relations, that’s all it is. 99.99 percent of all the employers out there wouldn’t care about something like this, they’re not going to do anything to you for something like this,” Florio said.
“I’m not saying he’s going to face a six-game suspension — that’s the baseline suspension for any act of violence, and we see the act of violence on tape.”
“But he could get something just as a way to publicize to all players: don’t mess around now that you’re back in a position where you can go out to bars. Be smart, don’t be stupid, disengage, and if you don’t, you’re going to face the consequences.”