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Ezekiel Elliott developments: Harold Henderson to handle appeal, plus other details from the investigation

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The latest information on the Ezekiel Elliott situation.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Press Conference Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

The NFL and Roger Goodell have announced that Harold Henderson has been named to handle Ezekiel Elliott's appeal. Henderson has handled other appeal cases for the NFL and is viewed by some as being league-friendly. Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk says:

Henderson, by virtue of the fact that the league regularly hires him to provide appeal services, is viewed as someone who will be inclined to rubber stamp the decision from the league — even if he hasn’t always done that.

As a practical matter, the chances of Elliott completely overturning the suspension have dropped significantly. (At best, he’ll get a mild reduction.)

In addition, the case took a strange turn from some information revealed this morning. According to a report by Charles Robinson on Yahoo Sports, the alleged victim in the case made a sex video of Elliott and herself, and contemplated using it for blackmail.

“The League’s forensic experts also recovered evidence from Ms. Thompson’s phone that she had registered an email address titled, “ezekielelliott sex vids” during the month of August, 2016. In addition, a text message with her friend [name withheld by Yahoo] was recovered that showed them talking about their need to make more money and Ms. Thompson raised the idea of selling the sex tapes she had of herself and Mr. Elliott. Her friend [name withheld] said they should blackmail Mr. Elliott with them, they’d be “millionaires”. Ms. Thompson replied that she’d like to but was scared. When Ms. Thompson was asked about this by the League’s investigators, she stated that she did have sex tapes of her and Mr. Elliott on her phone and she did open the email account but she denied doing so to blackmail Mr. Elliott.”

Although the existence of “sex tapes” and any discussion of extorting money does not disprove the NFL’s domestic violence case against Elliott, it will be used by Elliott’s legal team in their appeal. Elliott and his legal team have maintained that the domestic violence accusations against him were false and that his accuser lied because she wished to harm him after he sought to end any relationship with her. As previously reported, this appears to be the crux of their appeal case.

However, that all may have no effect on Elliott’s appeal.

The NFL does not have any requirement to take such things into consideration. This information was known before the suspension, and was deemed irrelevant.

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