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What’s next for Tyreek Hill?

The NFL completed an eight-hour interview with Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill as the league looks into alleged incidents involving his son.

Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill, as first reported here on Wednesday, spent eight hours meeting with NFL investigators on Wednesday. So what happens next?

The NFL will continue its investigation, as needed, before making a decision on whether Hill should be disciplined. Unless the information provided by Hill requires follow-up work, the NFL should be prepared to reach a conclusion, given that (as the league explained the protocol in defending the delayed interview of former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt) the NFL waits to interview the player until the rest of the investigation has concluded.

Once the NFL has the information that it needs, the question becomes whether and to what extent the league will determine that a violation occurred. The nuanced view would entail considering whether and to what extent Hill tells a credible story in a believable way, meshing his verbal explanation with the other evidence in a way that makes the NFL determine that he’s telling the truth and that he’s genuinely contrite, and that he should have little or no punishment. The more practical view would be that the league will do whatever it already wants to do.

On multiple occasions in recent years, NFL investigations have become an exercise in working backward to justify a preordained ending point. If in this case the NFL already has decided that Hill should be suspended for a specific number of games, the investigation will be molded, contorted, and maybe even distorted in a way that leads to that outcome.

That’s the unknown at this point. What does the league want to do? We’ll find out when they do it, and then Hill won’t be able to do much about it. Commissioner Roger Goodell will both issue the discipline and handle the appeal (directly or through a designee). Litigation filed by players like Tom Brady and Ezekiel Elliott has underscored the fact that the NFL has considerable power in these matters, and that there’s not much the player can do about it.