DENVER – The NFL has not made a decision whether to place 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks on paid administrative leave, a league spokesman told CSNBayArea.com on Friday.
The matter involving Brooks is under review, the spokesman said.
Paid leave option – or the commissioner’s exempt list – is an option for Brooks, whom the 49ers sent back to the Bay Area from Colorado on Thursday morning after he was charged with misdemeanor sexual battery. Brooks will not play in the 49ers' exhibition game Saturday night against the Denver Broncos, the 49ers announced.
The Santa Clara County Grand Jury also indicted former 49ers player Ray McDonald this week on one count of rape of an intoxicated person from an alleged incident on Dec. 15 at McDonald’s home.
The alleged separate assaults in which Brooks and McDonald are accused happened on the same evening, according to the DA’s office.
In May, the alleged victim filed a civil lawsuit that claimed surveillance video at McDonald’s house showed, “While she was unconscious from a subsequent fall, Brooks groped her person in a sexual manner."
In meeting with Bay Area reporters who made the trip to Colorado, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said the organization does not have enough information to make a decision on Brooks’ future with the team.
The 49ers have the power to release Brooks; keep him on the active roster and play him in games; or keep him on the roster and not play him.
Once the regular season begins, if Brooks is retained on the 53-man roster, the club could choose to continue to pay him and indefinitely deactivate him for games.
Only the NFL has the power under the league’s personal conduct policy to clear Brooks off the 49ers' 53-man roster for a period of time by placing him on leave or the exempt list, if the NFL determines the situation warrants such an action. Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy were placed on that list last season as they waited conclusions to their legal cases.
“The league really steps in and starts the fact-finding process,” Baalke said.
Baalke cited the NFL’s personal conduct policy in stating the information-gathering is now out of the 49ers’ hands. The policy reads:
“Whenever the league office becomes aware of a possible violation of the Personal Conduct Policy, it will undertake an investigation, the timing and scope of which will be based upon the particular circumstances of the matter.”
Brooks is charged with a misdemeanor crime that is prohibited in the policy as “assault and/or battery, including sexual assault or other sex offenses.”
In his comments on Thursday, Baalke said the 49ers do not have enough information to make a decision on whether to release Brooks or commit to retaining him on the 53-man roster at the start of the regular season.
“Where it goes from here, I don’t have that answer right now,” Baalke said. “I don’t have enough information regarding the situation right now. All I can speak of is today, and as of today Ahmad is away from this football team. We’re going to be here (Denver) until Saturday taking care of business. In the meantime, we’ll be evaluating this as we go along day-to-day.”
Brooks remains one of 89 players on the 49ers' roster. The deadline for the first round of cuts to 75 is on Tuesday. By Sept. 5, all teams must cut down to the regular-season limit of 53 players. The 49ers open the regular season on Sept. 14 against the Minnesota Vikings.