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The NFL’s Most Notable Suspensions

Quarterback Deshaun Watson was suspended Monday for six games for violating the N.F.L.’s private conduct coverage and was not fined, concluding the league’s 15-month investigation into sexual misconduct claims made in opposition to him by greater than two dozen ladies.

It was the primary N.F.L. participant disciplinary determination to be dealt with by an arbitration course of established within the 2020 collective bargaining settlement, which sought to bolster a system that had been criticized for inconsistencies and potential conflicts of curiosity.

Since Roger Goodell grew to become N.F.L. commissioner in 2006, he has taken a stricter stance on participant punishment than his predecessors, levying among the lengthiest participant suspensions within the league’s historical past. The private conduct coverage consists of provisions for penalizing gamers even when their transgressions didn’t lead to prison convictions.

However whereas Goodell as soon as wielded unilateral energy in disciplinary motion, revisions to the coverage within the last decade have shifted among the course of to 3rd events. Watson’s penalty was imposed by a retired federal decide who was collectively authorised by the league and the gamers’ union. However Goodell, or somebody he appoints, would nonetheless have the final phrase if the league appeals the choice.

Listed here are among the most notable suspensions of N.F.L. gamers throughout Goodell’s tenure as commissioner:

  • Michael Vick. Vick, a former Atlanta quarterback, was indefinitely suspended in 2007 for his function in a dogfighting scandal. The suspension lasted two seasons; Vick was reinstated earlier than the 2009 season after serving an 18-month jail sentence.

  • Aldon Smith. Smith, a defensive finish who performed for San Francisco and Oakland, was suspended in 2015 for a violation of the substance abuse coverage (he had been charged with drunken driving). The suspension lasted till Smith was signed by Dallas in 2020 and reinstated.

  • Dominic Rhodes. Rhodes, a working again who performed for a number of groups, was suspended indefinitely in 2011 after failing a 3rd drug take a look at. He was reinstated in 2014.

  • Jerrell Freeman. Freeman, a linebacker, was suspended twice for a number of video games after optimistic checks for performance-enhancing medicine whereas with Chicago in 2016 and 2017. The N.F.L. suspended him for 2 years for one more failed take a look at in 2018, although he introduced his retirement days earlier than the suspension.

  • Adam (Pacman) Jones. Jones, a cornerback then with Tennessee, was suspended for the 2007 season after a number of arrests, together with for his function in a battle at a strip membership that led to a few folks being shot.

  • Calvin Ridley. Ridley, an Atlanta receiver, was suspended for at least a year after he wager on N.F.L. video games whereas away from the workforce in the course of the 2021 season.

  • Donte’ Stallworth. After placing and killing a pedestrian in Miami Seaside whereas driving drunk, Stallworth, then a receiver with Cleveland, was suspended for the whole 2009 season. He pleaded responsible to manslaughter.

  • Darren Waller. In 2017, Waller, then a Baltimore tight finish, was suspended for no less than one yr for violating the substance abuse coverage. He had been suspended for 4 video games within the 2016 season for a similar violation. He was reinstated in 2018.

  • Martavis Bryant. Bryant, a receiver, was suspended for no less than one yr for violating the league’s substance abuse coverage in 2016. After being conditionally reinstated in April 2017, Bryant was suspended indefinitely in 2018 for violating the phrases of the reinstatement.

  • Travis Henry. In 2008, Henry, then a Denver working again, was suspended for no less than one yr after he examined optimistic for marijuana for the third time. Earlier than his suspension was full, Henry was sentenced to a few years in jail for financing a drug operation. The N.F.L. reinstated him in 2012.

  • Josh Gordon. Gordon, a receiver at the moment with Kansas Metropolis, has been suspended six instances for violating the league’s substance abuse coverage, together with a suspension for the whole 2015 season. He was most lately suspended in January 2021 and reinstated in September 2021.

  • Ray Rice. Rice was initially suspended for 2 video games by the N.F.L. after his arrest on home violence costs in July 2014. Two months later, after TMZ launched a extra graphic video of the assault that confirmed Rice knocking his fiancée unconscious in a lodge elevator, Baltimore launched the working again and he was suspended indefinitely by the N.F.L. Rice was reinstated on Nov. 28, after the primary 12 weeks of the 2014 season, however he was by no means signed by a workforce.

  • Vontaze Burfict. Burfict, an Oakland linebacker, was suspended for the rest of the 2019 season after his helmet-to-helmet hit to Indianapolis tight finish Jack Doyle in a Week 4 recreation. Burfict’s penalty, the N.F.L.’s longest suspension ever for on-field actions, took under consideration his prolonged historical past of violations of the league’s participant security insurance policies.

  • Josh Brent: For his function within the 2013 drunken driving demise of a Dallas teammate, Brent, a defensive deal with, was suspended for 10 games of the 2014 season. He was additionally sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation.

  • Antonio Brown. In 2020, the league suspended Brown, a receiver who was a free agent on the time, for sending threatening texts to a lady who accused him of sexual misconduct, and for his function in a dispute with a shifting firm worker. He pleaded no contest to housebreaking and battery costs and acquired two years of probation. Brown denied the sexual misconduct declare.

  • Chris Henry. The league suspended Henry, a Cincinnati receiver, in 2007 after he was arrested 4 instances between December 2005 and June 2006.

  • Terry (Tank) Johnson. Johnson, a defensive deal with then with Chicago, was suspended in 2007 after the police raided his house and located six unregistered firearms, a violation of his probation on an earlier gun cost.

  • Mychal Kendricks. Kendricks was suspended after pleading responsible to 2 insider buying and selling costs in 2018.

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