AP Source: 8 NFL players facing suspension
NEW YORK (AP) - Eight players, including Tennessee’s Kenny Britt, Tampa Bay’s Aqib Talib and Cincinnati’s Cedric Benson and Adam “Pacman” Jones, were subject to being suspended under the league’s conduct policy for incidents during the lockout.
A person with knowledge of the names confirmed to The Associated Press on Sunday that those four are joined on the list by New England’s Albert Haynesworth, Arizona’s Clark Haggans, Brandon Underwood and Johnny Jolly, both formerly of Green Bay.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because no official announcement has been made regarding any of the players.
The story was first reported by Yahoo Sports (http://www.yahoosports.com)
The NFL and the NFL Players Association previously agreed those eight could be disciplined, while 25 other players would not be.
It’s been unclear whether the league can fine or suspend players for conduct during the lockout when there was no collective bargaining agreement. The NFLPA technically was not a union at that time, so its ability to agree to such measures is in question, too.
“We believe that no player should be subjected to discipline for incidents occurring during the lockout,” NFLPA spokesman George Atallah told the AP on Sunday. “The NFL and the NFLPA signed a side letter to the CBA that resolved and absolved the overwhelming majority of players of conduct-related issues. We retain all of our rights and ability to challenge any player discipline related to incidents occurring during the lockout.”
Benson is appealing any discipline and has a hearing Tuesday. Earlier this month, Benson spent five days in a Texas jail mopping floors, completing his sentence for misdemeanor assault.
The Bengals running back had been arrested in July for allegedly punching a former roommate in downtown Austin, Texas.
“There were some things in the CBA that we were not made aware of, which is really no surprise,” Benson said Sunday. “That kind of falls on the (players’ association). You would think they’re here to support you and have your back _ that’s what a union does. I guess in my case, it’s different.”
However, the union will be on hand for Tuesday’s appeal and plans to argue on Benson’s behalf.
Last month, the league announced that Talib would not be suspended. The Buccaneers cornerback is facing a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Police in the Dallas suburb of Garland say they believe the 25-year-old player and his mother shot at a man in March.
Britt met with Commissioner Roger Goodell and was told he would not be suspended. Britt was arrested twice in New Jersey, with two warrants issued for falsifying information on driver’s license applications in Tennessee. A municipal court date in New Jersey for three disorderly person charges from a June arrest was postponed. He previously pleaded guilty to a speeding arrest in his hometown of Bayonne.
Jones, who is on Cincinnati’s physically unable to perform list, faces trial in November on charges stemming from a July incident at a Cincinnati bar. The cornerback has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
A 2005 first-round draft pick by the Titans, Jones has been in and out of legal trouble, with at least six arrests over the years and involvement in about a dozen incidents that included police intervention.
Haynesworth was indicted in April on misdemeanor sexual abuse for allegedly fondling the breast of his server in a hotel restaurant in Washington in February.
Jolly was suspended by the NFL without pay last season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. In March, Jolly was arrested and charged again after a traffic stop. Police said they found a bottle containing 600 grams of codeine under a passenger seat and another bottle containing an unidentified substance.
Underwood pleaded no contest to a reduced charge stemming from a dispute with his estranged wife. Underwood was accused of ripping a necklace off his wife, Brandie, outside their home after the Packers’ Super Bowl ring ceremony June 16. He subsequently was released by the team.
It was unclear why Haggans was on the list.
AP Sports Writer Richard Rosenblatt contributed to this story.