NFC South: Personal Conduct Policy
There have been plenty of one-year suspensions (and some longer) for substance-abuse violations. But Vilma’s suspension ranks as one of the longest in history.
With help from the Associated Press, by way of ESPN Stats & Information, here’s a list of the longest non-substance-abuse suspensions in NFL history:
- Art Schlichter, life, suspended one year for gambling in 1983, never reinstated
- Merle Hapes, eight years, suspended for conversing with known gambler in 1946, reinstated in 1954
- Frank Filchock, three years, suspended for conversing with known gambler in 1947, reinstated in 1950
- Michael Vick, two years, two games, suspended indefinitely in 2007 after pleading guilty to role in dogfighting
- Plaxico Burress, two years, suspended for duration of jail term in 2009 after pleading guilty to criminal possession of a weapon
- Donte’ Stallworth, one year, suspended for one year after pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter in 2009
- Paul Hornung, one year, suspended one year for gambling in 1963
- Alex Karras, one year, suspended one year for gambling in 1963
- Adam Jones, one year, suspended one year for violating Personal Conduct Policy in 2007
Those suspensions all involved off-field actions. Here is the list of the longest NFL suspensions for on-field incidents:
- 2006: Albert Haynesworth suspended five games after stomping on head of Cowboys center Andre Gurode. Gurode was not wearing a helmet at the time.
- 2011: Ndamukong Suh suspended two games after stomping on right arm of Packers lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith.
- 1986: Charles Martin suspended two games for body slamming Bears QB Jim McMahon to turf.
Talib was charged with aggravated assault after an incident that involved a gun in Texas in March. His trial is scheduled for next March. Talib said he has explained his side of what happened to Morris and the coach is standing by him.
Talib reported to camp and has been going about preparing for the season as usual.
"I know he's got to go through a whole bunch of legal stuff,'' Morris said, “But I don't think anything will happen as far as the league. They usually wait to pass judgment until something happens legally first. Aqib's ready to go. Aqib's ready to play.''
That sometimes is true and the league could wait until after the trial to make a decision. But, technically, the league doesn’t have to wait because he has been suspended before and the league can take action if commissioner Roger Goodell believes a player has stepped out of line.
The Bucs are preparing like they’ll have Talib for the season. With each passing day, that becomes more likely. Goodell was tied up for months with the labor situation and has been dealing with the aftermath. But the league usually likes to give teams ample notice about suspensions before the season. I’m guessing if the league doesn’t act in the next 10 days or so, Talib won’t face a suspension this season.
Carolina defensive end Greg Hardy will miss at least the first two weeks of training camp after suffering injuries in a recent motorcycle accident in Tennessee. Don’t be surprised if there are more stories similar to this around the league as players report to training camp. Teams couldn’t have contact with players during the lockout, so it’s possible there are other unknown injuries out there.
Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman briefed offensive coordinator Greg Olson on what the team accomplished in players-only workouts while dining with a group of players and coaches. Also at the dinner were free-agent offensive linemen Davin Joseph and Jeremy Trueblood, which would indicate the Bucs want to re-sign both.
Jeff Duncan writes that part of the reason Reggie Bush left New Orleans for Miami is because he wants to be “the man’’. Time will tell if Bush can handle that role after being a role player and often injured in New Orleans. Duncan also reports that Tampa Bay was in the mix in trade talks about Bush.
Although many assume the South Beach scene might be another reason Bush wanted to go to Miami, he told Lynn Hoppes that’s not the case. Bush said he’s not into partying.
In this Insider post, Football Outsiders ranks the Buccaneers as the league’s No. 1 organization. That’s based on talent that’s under 25. Freeman is 23, so that’s about 80 percent of the reason the Bucs are No. 1.
National Football League Players Association president Kevin Mawae said players are still fighting for amnesty for off-field incidents during the lockout. He said that’s one of the final pieces in play as the final edition of the new labor agreement is being worked out. Players don’t want to be subject to the league’s personal conduct policy during the time they were locked out. If they get their way, that could be good news for Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib, who was charged with aggravated assault in Texas in March.
I know there’s the argument about innocent until proven guilty, and I respect that. But I think Talib’s lengthy history of problems, some public and some that were handled in-house, gives the Bucs the right to cut him.
But let’s use our new toy, “Call It,’’ and let you voice your opinions.
I’ve put three options out there, and it’s important to note the Bucs can’t do the first two while the NFL is still in a lockout. On the third option, which is keeping Talib, you should also factor in that possibility could include some sort of league discipline because Talib served a one-game suspension last season and the league's personal conduct policy frowns on repeat offenders.
Go ahead and vote, and we’ll check in on the results with some analysis in a few days.
We’ve been tempering every post about Talib’s situation with the fact that he hasn’t been charged with a crime. Now that will change, and a lot of other things could follow. The charge will be a second-degree felony, and that means Talib could face a prison sentence of five to 20 years.
The spokesman said a grand jury will hear the case in the next four to six weeks, and it could take months for the matter to come to trial.
With the NFL in a lockout, there’s nothing the Bucs or the NFL can really do at this point. But Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that any player who violates the league’s personal conduct penalty will be subject to disciplinary action once the lockout ends.
Talib was suspended for the first game of last season for an altercation with a cab driver. Repeat offenders generally are subject to more severe penalties by the NFL. But that point could be moot because Talib could end up in prison.
We talked a bit this morning about how easy it would be for the Bucs to just cut Talib once the lockout is over. Yeah, there’s still the issue of presumed innocent until proven guilty.
But given Talib’s track record, I don’t think the Bucs have to wait for the legal system to play out. He will be charged with a crime involving a gun, and that, coupled with his history, is enough to justify the move. Despite enormous on-the-field talent, this guy has brought problems since his arrival in Tampa Bay.
Former coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen drafted Talib. Current general manager Mark Dominik and coach Raheem Morris like to talk about how they value character.
Well, the minute this lockout is over, they need to make a strong statement. The minute the lockout is over, they need to cut Talib.
As previously noted, the labor lockout prevents the league and its teams from taking any disciplinary action or making any roster moves. But commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that any incidents involving players are subject to discipline after the labor situation is resolved.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the league’s personal conduct policy. It’s very lengthy and we’re not going to run it here. I’ll simply direct you over to this post on our NFL Nation Blog, which contains the entire policy.
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
TAMPA, Fla. -- Aqib Talib hasn't been suspended yet, but it sure sounds like that remains a possibility.
General manager Mark Dominik just addressed the media for the first time about Talib's arrest and said the Bucs are working with commissioner Roger Goodell and the league office toward a "resolution." Dominik said Talib's arrest on misdemeanor charges for battery and resisting arrest fall under the league's Personal Conduct Policy, which could make the cornerback subject to a suspension without pay.
Talib has had previous incidents -- fighting with a teammate at last year's rookie symposium and an altercation in a June workout in which he swung his helmet and injured defensive back Torrie Cox while he was having an altercation with offensive tackle Donald Penn.
My initial reaction is I'm surprised the Bucs didn't make a pre-emptive strike and suspend Talib on their own. That's what the Panthers did last year when they quickly suspended Steve Smith for two games after an altercation with a teammate in training camp.
But I don't want to say the Bucs are taking the easy way out on this one and waiting for the league to make a decision. They may simply be playing it by the book because there are legal issues still being investigated and the NFL Players Association might protest if a decision is made too quickly.
Dominik did express strong disappointment in Talib.
"Aqib is a very outgoing, outspoken young man," Dominik said. "He certainly needs to mature a lot more. That's what I'll say."
But Dominik also said the team isn't ready to give up on last year's first-round draft pick.
"What we're trying to do is to try to help him. It may not seem like it's worked, but we're going to continue to work with him," Dominik said. "If he needs counseling, we'll get him counseling. We're going to work and try to catch his attention.''
Again, this thing's not over. There will be some sort of discipline coming and my guess is it will come in the next few days. Dominik did say Talib is expected to play in Saturday's preseason game at Jacksonville.
Coach Raheem Morris is scheduled to talk to the media after practice ends in about 45 minutes. We're not yet sure if Talib will talk to the media after practice.