Report: Cedric Benson will not be suspended by NFL

CINCINNATI - JANUARY 9: Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball alongside David Harris #52 of the New York Jets in the third quarter during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Roger Goodell is apparently getting soft in his old(er) age.

Like Titans’ quarterback Vince Young, it appears as though Cedric Benson will escape punishment stemming from an incident that occurred at an Austin bar late last month in which witnesses claim he punched an employee. According to Adam Schefter via his Twitter page, Goodell will not suspend the Bengals’ running back.

It’ll be interesting to see whether or not the Bengals sign Benson to a contract extension now that he’s in the clear. He was angling for a new deal before the news about his bar altercation broke, so maybe the team will feel more confident giving him an extension. That said, nobody could blame Cincy if it wanted to waited until Benson stayed out of trouble the rest of the year.

As expected, Young wasn’t suspended either after he punched a man in the face at a strip club last month. It was the first time Young had gotten into any off-field trouble, so it was expected that Goodell would go easy on him being a first-time offender. The reports out of Tennessee have been mostly positive about VY this summer, so it appears as though the strip club incident was only a small roadblock for the 27-year-old QB.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Union to discuss Goodell’s authority to punish players

When talks being about a new collective bargaining agreement begin soon, NFL players union chief executive DeMauirce Smith said he wants to talk about commissioner Roger Goodell’s power to discipline players.

Goodell has presided over a number of high-profile suspensions as commissioner in enforcing the league’s player conduct policy. The latest of those came Monday, when he conditionally reinstated ex-Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, making him eligible to sign with a team and play by Week 6 if Vick’s return goes according to plan.

But the amount of authority Goodell wields under the conduct policy — which was written with the assistance of NFL players and late union executive director Gene Upshaw — has raised concerns among players.

“That’s something that’s very important to the players that we intend to raise,” Smith said, according to the report. “You will increase the understanding of fairness if people are involved in a way that they understand why.

“If you imagined a world where our court systems were not public and people meted out justice and all you heard was what the result was, well, they might even get the decision right — but there would be a sense that it wasn’t fair because you couldn’t see why things were,” Smith said, the newspaper reported. “I think that same underlying philosophy is true here.”

Hey Smith, imagine a world where companies actually discipline employees for their actions by firing them and telling them they’re never welcomed back. Imagine a world were the NFL could fire their “employees” and end their careers for acting up off the field.

In the real world, Pacman Jones, Chris Henry, Marshawn Lynch, Tank Johnson and Brandon Marshall would never be able to “work” for the NFL again. Think about it. Think about what your boss would say if you did even a quarter of the things that these players have done over the course of their careers.

And yet Smith thinks it’s unfair that Goodell is able to rule with an iron fist. These players can go out and tarnish the league’s image, yet heaven forbid they actually face any discipline for their actions.

I have no problem with Goodell wielding the power to suspend players for screwing up. And if the union truly has a problem with it, then maybe it should educate the players more on the consequences they’ll face if they get into trouble off the field.

Ignorance is an excuse: Williams Wall cleared to play the rest of the season

It turns out you can take something that’s not on the list of approved substances and get away with it.

A Minnesota judge on Thursday extended his preliminary injunction against the NFL’s suspension of five players for violating the league’s anti-doping policy, clearing the players to play for two more weeks.

“This is consistent with the approach the judge has taken in giving careful consideration to these issues, which we fully respect,” an NFL spokesman said.

Given that the parties have been asked to propose a schedule to file pleadings by Dec. 22, which precedes the actual pleadings, the hearing of the case and then the decision, it’s likely all of the players involved will be done playing by the time any decision is made. What it means is that the five Vikings and Saints players who tested positive for a banned diuretic are probably good to play for the rest of the season and the playoffs.

From a fantasy point of view, this is very bad news for Tim Hightower this week, Michael Turner next week and Brandon Jacobs/Derrick Ward in Week 17 (for those leagues that have playoffs that last that long).

Vikings receive huge boost, Pat and Kevin Williams to play Sunday

The Minnesota Vikings’ defensive line will have their two key run-stuffers this week against the winless Detroit Lions.

A federal judge has blocked the NFL from suspending five players for violating the league’s anti-doping policy.

U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson said today he needed more time to consider the case after hearing several hours of arguments from the league and the NFL Players Association.

Kevin Williams and Pat Williams of the Minnesota Vikings, and Charles Grant, Deuce McAllister and Will Smith of the New Orleans Saints all were suspended this week for four games. They tested positive for a banned diuretic in the dietary supplement StarCaps.

The union has argued the NFL didn’t properly inform players about the substance. The NFL’s attorneys argued that claim, and others, had been considered and rejected in a process set out by the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

The Vikings will play the Lions on Sunday at Ford Field.

This obviously great news for the Vikings now, but what happens if the league’s suspension upholds next week? Then the players still have to miss four games and that could spill over into the playoffs if Minnesota makes the postseason. This situation is still very dangerous for the Vikes.

Related Articles:

Ruling on Vikings’ DTs coming Friday

NFLPA to file lawsuit on behalf of suspended players

NFL suspends six, including Deuce McAllister, Pat Williams and Kevin Williams

Ruling on Vikings’ DTs coming Friday

Kevin and Pat Williams should know whether or not they’re playing Sunday in Detroit by Friday.

Pat WilliamsTwo separate actions regarding the playing status of the two Pro Bowl defensive tackles, who were suspended four games by the NFL on Tuesday for using a banned diuretic, are on the docket for a 10:30 a.m. hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson.

The NFL seeks to dissolve a temporary restraining order obtained Wednesday by the Williamses that allows them to play.

That suit was filed on behalf of the Williamses, who are not related, and New Orleans Saints players Charles Grant, Deuce McAllister and Will Smith. The five players took a weight-loss supplement called StarCaps. The supplement contained the banned product bumetanide, which was not listed as an ingredient. The players claim the league has known about the presence of bumetanide in StarCaps since 2006 and failed to warn its players.

The NFL, which maintains a list of approved products, has steadfastly claimed it is not obligated to issue warnings about specific products that are not on that list.

The Williamses practiced with the Vikings on Thursday but were not available for comment.

I’m not a lawyer, but these players seem to have a viable argument. If the league wants to ban certain substances, shouldn’t it go out of its way to warn players about products that could get them suspended? If they already have a list of approved products, why not have another list of unapproved substances or any products that could have banned substances in them?

It seems to me that if you really want to ensure that players aren’t using performance-enhancing drugs (or weight loss substances, etc.), than you should go out of your way to make sure that those players know exactly what is and isn’t allowed. On the flip side, players should know what they’re putting into their bodies. And if they’re unsure, the league has to have people in place to ask questions. This whole thing is a mess and unfortunately in the Vikings’ sake, it could cost them the playoffs.

Related Articles:

NFLPA to file lawsuit on behalf of suspended players

NFL suspends six, including Deuce McAllister, Pat Williams and Kevin Williams

Related Posts