So last week, the New York Giants signed offensive lineman John Jerry, who was one of the three Miami Dolphins players implicated by name in the Ted Wells investigation into the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin bullying scandal. Jerry, Incognito and Mike Pouncey were found to have "engaged in a pattern of harassment" toward Martin and others in the organization. Sexually explicit taunts about one guy's sister, racial taunts toward a team trainer of Asian heritage ... real charming stuff. Guy seems like a real winner.
This is the kind of signing that, if the Jets or the Raiders or the Bengals or the Cowboys made it, would be panned and ridiculed and back-paged all over town. But because everybody connected with the NFL thinks the sun shines out of the Giants' rear ends, the focus in this case is on whether Jerry will be eligible to play when the 2014 season starts.
So, on that: Maybe. Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked Monday at the owners meetings whether Jerry, Incognito and Pouncey would face league discipline for their roles in the Miami fiasco, and he didn't say yes or no. But his answer did indicate the possibility that Jerry might have to miss time while he undergoes a medical evaluation stemming from his apparent struggles to treat people like human beings.
"Our focus right now, at least in the case of the three players, is that they would be evaluated," commissioner Roger Goodell said. "We talked with the union several times about that. We agreed that was the right first step."
The next step would be to determine if the players needed treatment of any kind. That could keep Jerry away from his new team for an unknown period of time, depending on the results of the tests.
Jerry is expected to be a reserve lineman at this point. The Giants, however, have several huge question marks on their line.
"The first thing is to get the evaluation to determine what the treatment is," Goodell said. "Depending on what the doctors prescribe there, that could prevent them from being part of football for some period of time. But that is a medical decision."
So, no way to know. All I can say is that the Giants must really like this guy if they're willing to take on this kind of baggage and the possibility that he might not even be medically cleared to participate in their training camp right away. When you have an offensive line play the way theirs did in 2013, I guess you're willing to overlook a lot in an effort to get better.