NFL Communications passed along word of the decision on Tuesday, announcing the league won't consider Peterson's reinstatement until at least April 15, 2015. Peterson pleaded no contest to reckless assault of a child charges in Texas earlier this month.
The announcement also included comments from Goodell, who discussed the path the running back will need to take before getting back on the field, if the suspension stands:
The timing of your potential reinstatement will be based on the results of the counseling and treatment program set forth in this decision. Under this two-step approach, the precise length of the suspension will depend on your actions. We are prepared to put in place a program that can help you to succeed, but no program can succeed without your genuine and continuing engagement. You must commit yourself to your counseling and rehabilitative effort, properly care for your children, and have no further violations of law or league policy.
The commissioner also warned any further violations for personal conduct could put Peterson's NFL career in jeopardy.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports an immediate appeal is being prepared:
NFL on ESPN provided the NFL Players Association's response to the suspension:
Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post agrees an outside arbitrator should step in to make the final decision about the length of the punishment:
Former NFL linebacker Scott Fujita does think there is some abuse of power, but he admits the players should have done a better job of making how punishments are handled a priority:
Ultimately, all the initial suspension does is set the table for a longer battle between the sides, as Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press points out:
The unknown is where the middle ground is, if there is any. Nobody reasonable condones what Peterson did, but the case was settled, and he's already missed a majority of the campaign while letting the legal process play out. Wendi Nix of ESPN asks the key question:
Joel Corry of the National Football Post also wonders how the decision could ultimately affect other players facing possible punishment, such as the Carolina Panthers' Greg Hardy:
Rob Guerrera of NBC Sports Radio isn't convinced Peterson has learned from his mistake:
Moreover, the suspension is definitely going to make players around the league think about their own actions moving forward, as former player Donte Stallworth notes:
Robert Littal of Black Sports Online highlighted the contrast of the situation:
Alas, Pete Prisco of CBS Sports thinks the suspension was harsh and wonders what it could mean of the running back's future:
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora points out Peterson was still getting paid while on the exempt list, something that would change if the suspension holds:
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network states it won't take long for the appeal hearing to be held:
In the bigger picture, Kevin Seifert of ESPN adds Peterson may have played his final game with the Vikings back in Week 1:
Should that be the case, Albert Breer of NFL Network passed along some contract notes:
All told, Tuesday's news represents just the latest turn in a story that's likely got several more to come in the weeks ahead. The NFL and its Players Association clearly differ about how the situation, and the punishment process as a whole, is being handled.
Whether Peterson will step back on the field in 2014 is unclear heading into the appeal. But if the NFL gets its way, this season is as good as over for the star running back.