New Orleans Saints mailbag: On Vicodin, linebackers and injury updates | - NOLA.com
Stealing a narcotic such as Vicodin is a felony offense that can carry a maximum sentence of 10 years. The Drug Enforcement Agency and Jefferson Parish Sheriff's office say they are investigating the case but I wonder how hard. After all, they've had the information for almost a year and not acted. Even if the Saints skirt criminal offenses, there's still the NFL to deal with. Vitt, general manager Mickey Loomis, head coach Sean Payton and even trainer Scottie Patton could be in violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy, which requires all persons associated with the NFL to avoid "conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League." This requirement applies to players, coaches, other team employees, owners, game officials and all others privileged to work in the National Football League. The policy holds NFL employees "to a higher standard" than normal citizens. Failure to live up to this standard of conduct can result in "discipline, even where the conduct itself does not result in conviction of a crime." So, as you can see, this is a very complicated situation. The worst thing that could happen is imprisonment. I think that's unlikely but you never know how the authorities will treat the case now that it's become so high profile. The findings from their investigation and the result of the civil lawsuit will likely determine the extent of the NFL's discipline, if any. That could take awhile.