The NFL is considering putting Tyreek Hill on the commissioner’s exempt list as early as this week, amid an ongoing criminal investigation surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs wideout, ESPN reported late Sunday night.
Overland Park (Kan.) Police reopened an investigation — regarding an injury to the child of Hill and his fiancee, Crystal Espinal — after a local TV station on Thursday revealed an audiotape in which Hill threatens Espinal while the couple discuss their son’s injuries.
The commissioner’s exempt list isn’t typically used during the offseason, but the league is considering making an exception in this case, ESPN reported. The report adds that the NFL has the full audiotape.
The league has normally used the exempt designation when a legal situation or allegations against a player surface during the season, effectively suspending the player indefinitely (with pay) until the situation reaches a resolution. The NFL also conducts an investigation of its own during that time, determining if punishment is merited.
If Hill is placed on the list, he would be barred from team activities. But the Chiefs already suspended Hill from team activities — he participated in workouts earlier this offseason — following the emergence of the audiotape on Thursday. During the 11-minute audio clip, Espinal accuses Hill of breaking their son’s arm, and Hill tells Espinal she should be “terrified” of him.
On Wednesday, the district attorney’s office had declined charges against Hill and Espinal, saying that despite the belief a crime had been committed, there was no evidence as to who committed it. The case was reopened upon the emergence of the audiotape.
Through a statement and comments from general manager Brett Veach and chairman and CEO Clark Hunt, the Chiefs have said multiple times they are “deeply disturbed” by the tape.
“I’d just point out that Tyreek is not with the franchise right now, and we’re going to go through the process,” Hunt told reporters at the team’s annual draft party over the weekend. “We’ll make the right decision about Tyreek at the right time.”
Hill could be subject to NFL discipline, regardless of whether he is charged by law enforcement.
—Field Level Media