Tag:Roger Goodell
Posted on: November 29, 2011 1:03 am
 

Report: Ndamukong Suh called Goodell to apologize

Posted by Will Brinson

Ndamukong Suh's been subject to plenty of judgment following his ejection-worthy actions against Green Bay in Detroit's Thanksgiving day loss.

The defensive lineman initially said he wouldn't apologize for stomping at Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith, but reversed course by posting an apology on his Facebook page. And Suh also reportedly called Roger Goodell to apologize for his actions on Sunday night.

That's according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, who reported the details of Suh's phone call on Monday evening.

Of course, Suh's apologies might not matter -- it's believed that the Lions defensive tackle could receive as much as a two-game suspension, and it seems likely that Suh only apologized to mitigate the danger of a multiple-game suspension.

That's because Suh, immediately following the Lions loss, wasn't exactly contrite about his actions.

"I was on top of a guy being pulled down," Suh said, according to CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco. "I was trying to get up off the ground. You see me pushing his helmet down because I was trying to remove myself from the situation. As I'm getting up, I'm getting pushed, so I'm getting myself in balance and getting away from the situation. I know what I did and the man upstairs knows what I did."



The visual evidence offered a story quite to the contrary, and it's no surprise that Suh was ejected. On the bright side, it's also possible, as CBS Sports' Charley Casserly pointed out Sunday, that Suh's punishment will be shortened because he missed part of that game against the Packers.

Either way, there's likely to be a heated debate about Suh's punishment if the league delivers the news on Tuesday, as expected.

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Posted on: November 27, 2011 1:05 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2011 1:06 pm
 

Casserly: Suh's antics aren't surprising



Posted by Ryan Wilson

It looks like Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh can expect to be suspended two games for his actions during Thursday's Packers game. During The NFL Today's pregame show, James Brown asked NFL insider Charley Casserly if there was any indication of Suh's behavior coming out of Nebraska.

Is Ndamukong Suh dirty?

Casserly's response: 

"I talked to general managers and scouting directors over the weekend and they me absolutely there were red lights at Nebraska and even before that that did not surprise them when they see Suh behave like this in the NFL. …

"Furthermore, when the league goes in to decide how long to suspend -- if they're going to suspend Suh -- one of the things that will work in Suh's favor is that he was ejected from the game … so he has a little bit of time served already. … Comissioner Goodell, in his tenure, has suspended five players. Only one of them, Albert Haynesworth, was suspended for more than one game.

"Finally, the Detroit Lions are going to lose something here too. Suh's salary is a little over $82,000 per week. If he's suspended for more than one game that means the total fines for the year for the Lions will be over $100,000. There's a new rule in the league: over $100,000 and the team has to pay it. So now what happens? The Lions will have to pay if Suh is suspended for one game."

As for what punishment Suh should face: "I think he should be suspended two games."



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Posted on: November 27, 2011 10:58 am
Edited on: November 28, 2011 11:18 am
 

Report: Ndamukong Suh to be suspended 2 games



Posted by Ryan Wilson

We probably won't know Ndamukong Suh's fate until Monday or Tuesday, but that doesn't mean it's still not one of the biggest stories of Week 12. Suh, one of the Lions' best players, was ejected from the Thanksgiving Day game against the Packers for stomping on Green Bay guard Evan Dietrich-Smith's arm.

On Sunday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Suh is expected to be suspended for at least two games. 

Is Ndamukong Suh dirty?

After the his ejection Thursday, Suh offered up a lame excuse for his actions before apologizing a day later on his Facebook page.

Suh said he's now ready to move on from the incident.

"I want to reiterate my commitment to working to become a better player, and professional—on and off the field. My reaction on Thursday was unacceptable. I made a mistake, and have learned from it. I hope to direct the focus back to the task at hand — by winning," Suh wrote on Facebook.

But it's not enough to just say you're sorry and you're ready to get on with the rest of your life. In addition to how severely the NFL will punish him, there are also concerns in the Lions' locker room about Suh's antics. Specifically, some of his teammates are also tired of it. NFL Network's Jason La Canfora confirmed as much during Sunday's NFL GameDay Morning.

"The interesting thing, there are people in his own locker room that think [a suspension's] called for," La Canfora said.



Does a reported two-game punishment fit the crime? No idea. (Worth noting: CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman warns that, given NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's history of suspending players, we shouldn't expect a huge punishment for Suh.) But if it's to the point where Suh's teammates are fed up, then maybe a stiffer sanction will have a better chance of getting through to him, and in his words, help him "to become a better player, and professional—on and off the field."

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Posted on: November 24, 2011 3:42 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2011 11:32 am
 

Suh doing more harm than good, facing suspension?

Suh will definitely get fined and possibly suspended for his latest antics.  (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Ndamukong Suh is not a dirty player. We know this because Ndamukong Suh repeats this message almost weekly, usually after a questionable play that virtually everyone agrees would qualify as dirty. The latest incident took place during the Packers-Lions Thanksgiving Day game.

With just over nine minutes remaining in the third quarter and Green Bay leading 7-0, Suh was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct (his second such penalty of the season). What should've been a field-goal attempt for the Packers ended up being a first down, and worse for Detroit: Suh was ejected for stomping on Green Bay guard Evan Blake Dietrich-Smith after the play had concluded.



The Packers scored two plays later to take a 14-0 lead. Looking back at how the game unfolded, you could point to Suh's disqualification as the turning point in the game, and perhaps the Lions' season.

To that point, Detroit had outplayed Green Bay. But In the eight minutes after Suh was sent to the locker room, Lions quarterback Matt Stafford threw two interceptions and by the start of the fourth quarter, the Packers led 24-0. By the time it was over, Green Bay had cruised to a 27-15 victory and an 11-0 record.

Suh had been fined three times for more than $42,000 before his latest on-field incident Thursday afternoon. Ironically, he met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last month for clarification on these previous fines and came away sounding pleased. Shortly after the get-together Suh wrote on his Facebook page:


"I am very appreciative of the opportunity to sit and speak with the Commissioner and his staff to clarify a few questions about my play, and the game in general. I have gained a better understanding how I need to play the game to help my team win. I look forward to the rest of the season and the doing everything we can to bring the Lombardi Trophy to Detroit."

Suh either has a horrible memory or his emotions continue to get the best of him. Because it's clear that his "understanding how I need to play the game to help my team win" didn't carry over from his meeting with Goodell.

And not only did Suh hurt his team's chances of winning against the Packers, he could affect the Lions' matchup with the Saints next week, too. There's no doubt that Suh will face another hefty fine, but there's the real possibility that he could be suspended.

In 2006, then-Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was ejected from a game for stomping on the head of Cowboys center Andre Gurode, who had lost his helmet during the play. Haynesworth was ejected and suspended for five games. Suh's antics weren't nearly as malicious as Haynesworth's, something Goodell may or may not take into consideration.


Whatever happens, Suh has to change the way he plays. He can continue to claim that he's not dirty only to continue to rack up personal-foul penalties, fines and possibly suspensions. Or he can figure out a way to play within the rules while still dominating whomever happens to line up across from him.

We probably won't know Suh's fate for several days. But the Lions are now 7-4, and their schedule doesn't let up for the rest of the regular season. Detroit travels to New Orleans in 10 days, then they'll face the Vikings, Raiders and Chargers before traveling to Lambeau Field in Week 17.

Ideally, Suh will do his part to help keep the Lions in the playoff race. But if he doesn't change the way he plays, he'll end up doing more harm than good.

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Posted on: November 20, 2011 1:35 pm
 

Bennett to be removed if he wears orange shoes

Posted by Will Brinson

Earl Bennett's orange shoes have cost him $15,000 already this season -- though the Bears are 2-0 when Bennett rocks the kicks, the NFL's fined him twice this season, once for $5,000 and the second time for $10,000.

According to CBS Sports' Charley Casserly, if Bennett wears the orange shoes on Sunday against San Diego, he'll be fined another $15,000. And he'll be removed from the game until he changes.

"The NFL told me they called the Bears this week and told them this: if Bennett wears the shoes today during the game, he will be fined a minimum of $15,000," Casserly said on The NFL Today. "But more importantly, he will be removed from the game and he will not be allowed to go back into the game until he has the proper footwear on."



Bennett's decision to continue wearing the shoes obviously didn't sit well with the league office -- and it sets a dangerous (well, relatively dangerous) precedent if the league simply continues to fine Bennett. There's a strict uniform policy around the NFL, but if there's no substantial punishment for breaking that policy apart from financial incentivizing, it wouldn't be shocking to see players do what Bennett did over a longer period of time.

The NFL clearly wants to nip that in the bud, and they're doing so by potentially keeping Bennett from playing on Sunday.

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Posted on: November 18, 2011 6:42 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2011 8:30 pm
 

NFL fines Flacco $7.5K for horse-collar tackle

If the NFL has a fine schedule why were Polamalu and Flacco given different fines for the same offense? (Getty Images/AP)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

No one, it seems, is immune to the the long arm of the NFL law responsible for handing out punishments to weekly rules-breakers. The latest unlikely target to end up in the league's crosshairs: Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who was fined $7,500 for his horse-collar tackle on the Seahawks' David Hawthorne last weekend.

Only knowing this, you might think, "Good. The league doesn't consider quarterbacks, its most prized possession, above the rules."

Sort of. For starters, Flacco gets fewer roughing-the-passer calls than almost every other quarterback in the league. So it's not like he's Tom Brady or Drew Brees when it comes to officials giving him the benefit of the doubt

But then there's this: Flacco's fine was half what the NFL fined Troy Polmalu for his horse-collar tackle on Ravens running back Ricky Williams. And before you note that the league punishes repeat offenders more heavily than first-timers, the Polamalu-on-Williams crime took place in Week 1.

It seems like the NFL is arbitrarily handing out fines. "But the NFL has a fine schedule," you might point out. "One that explicitly lays out how much players can expect to fork over for every infraction." 

Well let's take a look. Under the heading "Player Safety Rules and/or Flagrant Personal Foul (including, without limitation)" is the following:
Horse Collar Tackle: $15,000 / $30,000
We take this to mean that a first offense will cost you $15,000 and subsequent offenses will cost you $30,000.

So why was Flacco fined $7,500?

A league source tells CBSSports.com that Flacco was a first-time offender, and the minimum fine for first-time offenders is $7,500. While it may have been Polamalu's first fine of the season, he had been fined previously. Flacco had not.

Here are the two penalties:


Polamalu horse-collars Williams during Week 1.


Flacco horse-collars Hawthorne during Week 10.

The story here isn't that one player was fined more than another for the same offense, it's that the league appears to haphazardly assign punishments. We've said it countless times before, but here goes, once more: if the idea is to reduce personal-foul penalties, shouldn't the sanctions be transparent and crystal clear? Because otherwise, no one knows what's deemed legal and what isn't and you end up with situations like, say, this (and this).

Put another way: the league views Flacco's offense to be as egregious as what Browns guard Shawn Lauvao did to Brian Cushing last week. Lauvao was fined $7,500 for head-butting Cushing, which opened up a blood-gushing gash on the Texans linebacker's face.

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Posted on: November 11, 2011 9:05 am
 

NFLPA explains position on HGH testing

Smith, GoodellPosted by Josh Katzowitz

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is still on his quest to bring HGH testing to the NFL, saying Wednesday, “We're completely focused on that. We think it's the right thing to do. We agreed to it. We think it's the right thing to do for player safety. We think it's important for the credibility of the game."

Yet, it’s been made clear the NFLPA isn’t on the same wavelength.

But why? The two sides already agreed to the testing in the newest Collective Bargaining Agreement (you remember that somewhat-important document that consumed the offseason, right?), so why is the union making everything so difficult?

Let the NFLPA explain in this Pro Players Insider piece:
While the NFLPA is committed to player health and safety, a fair and transparent testing protocol is also necessary to maintain the integrity of the game and the due process rights of its players.

In Article 39, Section 7 (b) of the CBA, the NFL and NFLPA agreed to “discuss and develop … the safe and secure collection of samples, transportation and testing of samples, the scope of review of the medical science and the arbitrator review policy.”

So, the NFLPA is saying it didn’t agree to HGH testing. Instead, the union claims it agreed to talk about starting HGH testing.

And until the union receives assurances on a few matters, it looks like it won’t be agreeing to anything anytime soon.

For instance, the biggest issue is “the lack of transparency at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the only group that has developed an isoform test for exogenous (non-naturally occurring) HGH which, unlike naturally occurring HGH, can be injected into the body.

“WADA has adamantly declined to provide population and validation studies, and its test radically differs from those for other performance-enhancing drugs because if a blood sample surpasses a predetermined HGH limit, it’s declared a positive without allowing for a naturally occurring result. And yet, the NFL’s proposed appeal process bars players from challenging the science behind WADA’s test which has been in use for less than two years, not long enough to be certain that it has not generated false positives.”

Basically, the NFLPA says that the man who developed the test that WADA uses has talked about his concern for false positive tests and that the factors contributing to a false positive are gender, age, body composition, and the effects of “acute and chronic exercise.” Therefore, the NFLPA says that because NFL players have been known to exercise from time to time, this puts them at greater risk for a false positive. That’s why the NFLPA wants, in its own words, “to have full access to the makeup of the testing population from which blood samples were obtained in order for WADA to set the decision limit.”  
 
Goodell disagrees, calling the proposal “a valid test,” and it seems like this is an impasse that might take some time to clear.

Even though the supposed 10 years of labor peace hasn’t been so peaceful thus far, thank the heavens that HGH testing is not an issue that could destroy an NFL season. It’s just kind of annoying.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: November 10, 2011 12:55 pm
 

Goodell still wants HGH testing this year

GoodellPosted by Josh Katzowitz

About a month ago, the NFL announced that the league and the NFLPA had agreed to HGH testing and that testing could begin that next week.

The union, though, protested, telling players NOT to submit to any kind of HGH testing, and for now, the issue has stagnated (and I’m predicting that it’s not going to happen this year).

But commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that he still wants testing to begin in 2011.

"HGH is certainly something we need to be testing for," Goodell said, via Rapid Reporter Dan McLellan. “We're completely focused on that. We think it's the right thing to do. We agreed to it. We think it's the right thing to do for player safety. We think it's important for the credibility of the game.

"It's something we agreed to [in the labor agreement]. We had talked about it for well over a year. It wasn't something that came up at the last minute. It's important for us as the NFL to continue to be the leader for sports, and that includes performance-enhancing drug testing.”

The problem with that, as the union sees it, is that nobody has told the NFLPA exactly how the testing procedure will work and it wants to see more scientific data that the testing is reliable. So, the NFLPA hasn’t signed off on it, and for now, it’s unclear when it will.

"I respect the fact we want to have a valid test," Goodell said "We didn't initially wrap our arms around this test when it was created in 2004, but there's seven years of history, a lot of science, a lot of medicine is behind it. And we're comfortable that this is a valid test."

In other Goodell news, he also plans on meeting with San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders to get an update on the plans for a new Chargers stadium.

“(The Spanos family) have been trying for 10 years,” Goodell said. “I think everyone recognizes a new stadium is needed in keeping the Chargers competitive. They have worked tirelessly to find a solution with the community and with the team.”

Otherwise, it’s Los Angeles or bust, right Mr. Commissioner?

“Not necessarily,” he said. “Until there's an appropriate solution in Los Angeles, there won't be a team there."

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com