Alright the bomb has been dropped & we all know the worst of what to expect. Unfortunately the "harpies" that are the sports media have descended & have already traded Ben, cut Ben, anointed Dixon the starter, anointed Byron the starter, retired Batch, claimed the locker room is in turmoil, drafted Clausen, drafted McCoy, claimed we'll go into the season with 4 QBs, & so on, & so on...
So here's what I think needs to happen...the team needs to get in front of this & take the reigns on all the rumor & conjecture. First, they need to release a statement about the punishment & show their unwavering support for Ben. This is for two reasons...first, because they mean it & second, if they are serious about trading him they need to try to build his value by their being behind him - after all if he's radioactive, you're gonna get nothing for him. But in reality, it doesn't make sense that they would be involved in his "rehab" determination only to turn around & give up on him. One other thing, if they were going to trade Ben, why wouldn't they have gone to Goodell & say "can't you wait until after the draft" to announce the suspension...that would've been more help to them.
Then they need to take control of the rampant rumors by saying if they have or have not contacted teams...it's as though the media is taking control of this & they need to re-assert themselves in that they control the team, not the media, not the fans. You can't let people who have no accountability tell how to run your team...even if that means that sometimes you take an unpopular stance. That means the opposite as well...if they trade him & get nothing for it there will be screaming too.
Lastly, Ben needs to make a statement publicly - with the brass, Tomlin & some players with him - saying that he's going to embrace the conditions Goodell & the team laid out & do it quickly. He needs to show that he has the support of the team & his teammates for fans to start to turn the tide. One other thing, in light of everything I'm not sure if he needs to throw money at McNutty to make her go away or fight it to discount her publicly to lessen the hit his rep is taking. At least it would be interesting to see if any of these fans or media-types would change their opinion or apologize if she were proven to be a flake.
Oh yeah...where's the union in all this?