Mason Rudolph's Agent: 'No Options Have Been Removed from the Table' After Myles Garrett Incident
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett’s behavior toward Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph at the end of Thursday night’s game at FirstEnergy Stadium has many wondering whether Garrett might face legal trouble.
The tussle began when Garrett took Rudolph to the ground after the quarterback threw the ball late in the fourth quarter.
Rudolph was upset, likely at what he believed to be a late hit. The two wrestled on the ground, and at one point, Rudolph appeared to be unsuccessfully trying to take off Garrett’s helmet.
Eventually, it was Garrett who ripped the helmet off Rudolph — and then slammed it down on the quarterback’s head.
Here’s the most complete clip I could find. It’s originally from Conor Powers. More tweets and angles on my TL
ICYMI: Cleveland #Browns DE Myles Garrett attacking Pittsburgh #Steelers QB Mason Rudolph with his helmet pic.twitter.com/j5BI8HcxBH
— Gabriel Schray (@schrayguy) November 15, 2019
It was a brutal hit — and one that had many people characterizing it as outright assault.
I mean this is literally assault. Garrett shouldn’t step on the field for the rest of the season https://t.co/K3gQGYucUa
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) November 15, 2019
Answer me this: Why can’t law enforcement be waiting for Myles Garrett at the exit of the stadium and arrest him on the spot? He took an object, turned it into a weapon and – by definition – committed aggravated assault. The heck with league. How about the law?
— Dan Zangrilli (@DanZangrilli) November 15, 2019
Myles Garrett just committed actual assault on the football field. Get him out of here for the SEASON. pic.twitter.com/a7pkN6HZeg
— pat muldowney (@muldowney) November 15, 2019
So does Rudolph plan to take any legal action by pressing charges or filing a lawsuit?
That’s not yet clear, according to his agent, Tim Younger.
“I am gathering all information and no options have been removed from the table,” Younger wrote in a text message to ESPN.
Younger’s firm tweeted about the incident Thursday night:
There are many risks an NFL QB assumes with every snap taken on the field. Being hit on your uncovered head by a helmet being swung by a 275 lb DE is not one of them. Tonight could have had a catastrophic ending. The matter will be reviewed thoroughly.
— Younger & Associates/QB Limited (@YoungerAssoc) November 15, 2019
“There are many risks an NFL QB assumes with every snap taken on the field. Being hit on your uncovered head by a helmet being swung by a 275 lb DE is not one of them,” the firm said. “Tonight could have had a catastrophic ending. The matter will be reviewed thoroughly.”
A representative of the Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Prosecutor’s Office, which has jurisdiction over the area where the incident took place, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette there are not currently any open investigations relating to what happened.
In order for police to arrest Garrett for assault, Rudolph would have to file a criminal complaint, Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia, a public information officer for the Cleveland Police Department, told TMZ.
“The person who was hit would have to file a report. There is no criminal complaint filed,” Ciaccia said.
So do Garrett’s actions fall under the legal definition of assault?
“No person shall knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical harm to another or to another’s unborn,” Ohio state law reads. Anyone who does so “is guilty of assault,” the law says.
“The level of offense, generally, is tied to how much injury is caused,” Ohio-based attorney Steve Palmer told Yahoo News. “Let’s say I throw you down and you break your leg, or I hit you and I break your nose. That’s the type of injury that typically would require medical attention. Well, that becomes serious physical harm. I’ve knowingly caused or attempted to cause serious physical harm to you. That makes it a felony.”
According to NBC Sports’ Mike Florio, Garrett committed an assault, but he probably won’t be charged for two reasons.
“First, it happened in Cleveland and not in Pittsburgh (which definitely is a factor, given that prosecutors are elected officials),” Florio wrote. “Second, Rudolph wasn’t knocked out or otherwise injured.”
So what about a potential lawsuit? Rudolph probably won’t bring one, and he likely won’t win even if he does, Sports Illustrated legal analyst Michael McCann wrote.
“Rudolph is clearly angry by what happened,” he wrote. “But he doesn’t appear to have suffered any injuries. A successful torts lawsuit would require proof of injury to Rudolph.”
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