Sunday, December 4, 2011
Sources: NFL, union reach ban deal
By Chris Mortensen
Washington Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams and tight end Fred Davis are facing four-game suspensions following a lockout-related drug-test settlement between the league and the NFL Players Association, according to sources.
According to the sources, Williams and Davis were two of 11 players that tested positive for recreational drugs shortly after the lockout ended this summer. As part of the settlement, the sources said, the other nine positive tests by unidentified players will be nullified.
Williams and Davis are considered repeat offenders, according to the sources, and would have faced one-year bans under normal circumstances.
According to sources, both the league and the NFLPA were awaiting word from Davis on whether the fourth-year player will agree to the settlement, but if Davis were to decline, he would face a year-long suspension. Williams has agreed to accept the four-game suspension, the sources added.
League sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Nov. 13 that Williams and Davis were among the 11 players facing discipline.
However, the group of players protested that they had been led to believe there would be a 30-day grace period on drug testing following the lockout as part of an understanding between NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, a source told Schefter.
The Redskins (4-8) lost 34-19 to the New York Jets on Sunday, with both Williams and Davis in the lineup. Davis had six catches for 99 yards receiving, both game-highs.
One source told ESPN.com's Dan Graziano that the players were able to play because they had not yet been notified of the results of the settlement. If both players serve the full four-game suspension, they would miss the rest of the regular season.
Also, sources said Sunday that the National Labor Relations Board has dismissed an unfair labor practice complaint by attorney David Cornwell, who represents several players in discipline appeals, that said the NFLPA acted improperly by reaching a side agreement on player conduct violations during the lockout.
Chris Mortensen is a senior NFL analyst for ESPN. Information from ESPN.com's Dan Graziano contributed to this report.