Other than the fact that I don’t recall anything quite so egregious in the last 20 years watching the sport, my takeaways:
• The NFL I believe got this mostly right. I’d have given Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey two games instead of three, because he’d just seen his quarterback take the most violent attack most of us have witnessed, and a center/leader like Pouncey is the mother hen to his inexperienced quarterback. He’s going to lash out, and violently, at the attacker. I’m quibbling about the length of suspension, but he certainly deserves it.
• I would fine Mason Rudolph but not suspend him for his role. I agree that he went overboard trying to get Garrett off him, and whether he was trying to just get Garrett off him by using his foot on his midsection/groin, that’s excessive to me. But it’s not a suspendable offense, in my opinion. And if that prompted Garrett to spin out of control, that’s 90 percent on Garrett, who’s got to have more self-control.
• As for Garrett, I certainly hope he doesn’t win his appeal. My experience in two short interviews has been that he’s a thoughtful person and serious about being great at football. It appears he simply snapped. He should serve his time, be repentant, and return to be the great player he is and being the defensive cornerstone Cleveland drafted him to be. Though he’s shown signs of being over-aggressive, this act crosses the rubicon, and the Browns need to find out whether some counseling is in order. If he shows proper remorse and works to make this right with Rudolph and the Cleveland fan base over time, I’d lean toward allowing him back on the field for Week 1 next year.