Assessing the Quincy Enunwa situation

September, 4, 2014
9/04/14
6:00
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- There are still many questions surrounding New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, who allegedly was involved in an altercation with a woman at a local hotel, according to reports. He was arrested and charged with simple assault by the Florham Park Police Department, which has provided few details about the incident.

Obviously, domestic violence is a hot-button issue in the NFL. Under the league's new policy, a first-time offender gets a six-game ban. On Wednesday, Jets coach Rex Ryan said he was aware of the arrest, but he declined further comment, invoking the all-too-familiar line, "It's a pending legal matter." Ryan wasn't asked about the domestic-dispute angle to the story because it didn't surface until about an hour after his news conference.

On Thursday, Ryan will get those questions, just as San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh got them Wednesday regarding DE Ray McDonald and his alleged incident. Harbaugh stressed two points: The 49ers don't tolerate domestic violence and they believe in "due process." McDonald is practicing with the 49ers, who say they haven't made a decision on whether he will play in the opener.

On Wednesday night, commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is gathering facts on the McDonald case and that any discipline under the new policy wouldn't be applied until the legal system has run its course.

The Jets apparently decided to follow that route soon after Enunwa's arrest, which occurred Sunday night. They were aware of the arrest the next day, when they cut him from the 53-man roster -- but the move wasn't a punishment. General manager John Idzik was tinkering with the bottom of the roster and he needed a spot for newly signed cornerback Phillip Adams. A day later, Enunwa was added to the practice squad. If the Jets wanted to send a message by taking a hard-line stance, do you think they would've brought him back into their building, albeit at a lower salary? Don't think so.

History tells us Idzik won't dump a misbehaving player until he basically violates his contract. The GM stayed with the troubled Mike Goodson through a league suspension, waiting more than a year after his embarrassing arrest before cutting him -- and that was when he failed to show up for a mandatory minicamp. Idzik also waited a few days before cutting Dimitri Patterson, who missed a game and went AWOL for 48 hours.

Once again, it appears the Jets won't take drastic action. They'll let the courts and Goodell do the heavy lifting. In the meantime, Enunwa, who is accused of simple assault, keeps practicing and drawing a paycheck.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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