Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Roger Goodell discusses Josh Brent
By Ed Werder and Todd Archer
IRVING, Texas -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he is likely to meet with Josh Brent soon after the arrest of the Cowboys nose tackle for intoxication manslaughter charge as a result of a car crash that led to the death of teammate Jerry Brown.
On Wednesday, the Cowboys placed Brent on the reserve/non-football injury list, ending his season but not his contact with the team.
A source described Brent as being emotionally unable to play following the one-car accident early Saturday.
"Because he's not active and will not be involved with the club I think we'll allow the legal process to move forward and gain a little more clarity on that front," Goodell said after the league's owners meetings concluded in Irving, Texas.
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, attending the meetings, said the team wants to be in contact with Brent.
"I think we want to be able to contact him and him being able to contact his teammates," Jones said. "I think those things are important."
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Monday the team would "support Josh 100 percent in every way that we can."
Irving Police say Brent was speeding early Saturday morning when his vehicle struck a curb on a service road along State Highway 114 and flipped and skidded an estimated 900 feet before coming to rest. Brown was transported to a Dallas hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Dallas County medical examiner said Brown died after suffering blunt force trauma to his head and neck.
On Tuesday, Brent, a friend of Brown's since the two played at the University of Illinois, attended a memorial service for Brown and sat with the family at the request of Brown's mother, Stacey Jackson.
The Cowboys made the decision to place Brent on the non-football injury list after consulting with the league.
Since the accident, the Cowboys have said they intend to support Brent in any way possible. Had he been suspended, then the team would not have been allowed to have any contact with Brent. According to league rules, the Cowboys are not required to pay Brent while he is on the non-football injury list. Brent is signed through 2013.
"I think we want to be able to contact him and him being able to contact his teammates," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said early Wednesday. "I think those things are important."
In addition to possible prison time, Brent faces penalties from the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct and substance abuse policies. In college, Brent had a drunken driving arrest and was sentenced to two years of probation and 60 days in jail as part of a plea agreement.
In 2009, Goodell suspended wide receiver Donte Stallworth for the season after Stallworth pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter after a crash in which he struck and killed a construction worker. Stallworth received a 30-day jail sentence, two years of house arrest and eight years of probation among other restrictions.
Goodell said he spoke with Mothers Against Drunk Driving CEO Debbie Weir and NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith on Tuesday night to discuss what the league can do differently in helping educate players about the issue as well as offering different resources.
An issue is the punishment allowable under the collective bargaining agreement in regards to the league's substance abuse policy.
"I don't think it's a secret that we've long felt that discipline in this area needs to be revisited and escalated on a first offense and a second offense," Goodell said. "Hopefully that never happens -- but I think it's very important to have that."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.