More Legal Trouble for NFL Players

MORE GUYS IN TROUBLE, AND MORE TROUBLE FOR STALLWORTH?

Calvin Pace, the right outside linebacker of the New York Jets (+700 to win the AFC East) and one of the mainstays of the defense, was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the season for taking performance enhancing drugs. He will be eligible to come back to action on October 12 when the Jets (Over 7 wins -150, Under 7 wins +120) play the Miami Dolphins (+800 to win the AFC East). In a prepared statement, Pace said that he took an over-the-counter dietary supplement, and that he had no idea that it contained something that was banned by the NFL. Pace was third on the team in tackles with 80 (62 of them solo) and had seven sacks last season.

It is important to note that the suspension does not prevent Pace from participating in the training camp, including both practices and pre-season games, so there probably won't be a very difficult time for him to get back in the swing of things when he is eligible to get back on the roster. If the NFL wants to punish players, this is not the most ideal way to execute it, but we understand that the parameters of labor relations sometimes prevent that kind of thing from happening.

If NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is going to be consistent with his "get-tough" policy on NFL misconduct, he's going to want to review the case of Owen Schmitt, the fullback for the Seattle Seahawks (+210 to win the NFC West) who was arrested on June 20 for DUI. Last year Schmitt was a fifth-round draft choice of Seattle, and in his rookie season he carried five times for 21 yards and caught six passes for 29 yards. This year he was expected to be the starting fullback for a Seattle team that has Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett in the backfield.

Goodell may also want to look into a situation surrounding Jeremy Jarmon, a standout defensive end who was ruled ineligible by the NCAA for testing positive for a substance that was not disclosed. Jarmon, while playing at Kentucky (+2500 to win the SEC East) last year, posted 4.5 sacks and ten tackles for loss. He actually considered coming out of school early and going into the NFL draft, but decided to return for his senior season instead, and was a legitimate candidate to be an All-SEC performer. Jarmon says that he is keeping no secrets from NFL teams about which substance he tested positive for, but it has not been revealed to the public. He will now enter the NFL's supplemental draft, and has a pro day scheduled in Lexington Thursday.

More trouble for Stallworth?

Donte Stallworth, who is technically still a part of the Cleveland Browns (+900 to win the AFC North), had marijuana in his system at the time of the accident in which he killed a Miami pedestrian, according to his attorney. He had tested positive for the substance at the time of his arrest. A 911 call that has been released by police has Stallworth quoted as claiming that the pedestrian, 59-year-old Mario Reyes, "just ran in front of my car."

A Florida judge has refused to release the video of the crash, which was caught on a surveillance camera, citing concerns for the privacy of the family of the deceased. The family was paid off by Stallworth, which resulted in a light sentence of 30 days in jail, house arrest and community service, worked out with shady Miami prosecutor Katherine Fernandez Rundle, who has one son who has been arrested for DUI in the past and another who has been bagged for assault and burglary. The judge, Dennis Murphy, has received permission to see the video in the future, which he is obviously going to try and use to bolster his case for Stallworth being reinstated at some point. Goodell might take that into account, but it is more likely that the revelation about the marijuana will have more of a bearing in his ultimate decision as to how long Stallworth will be suspended.

By the way, in case anybody thought that they were getting paid off, Mothers Against Drunk Driving released this as part of a statement about the Stallworth incident: "We have heard there may be a contribution to MADD in the settlement and if that is true, we will not accept any monies. This case is a clear test of the NFL’s continued tolerance of drunk driving among its players. We are closely watching what the NFL does."

In other Browns legal news, the team is being sued by former wide receiver Joe Jurevicius, who claims the team is responsible for a staph infection that kept him out of action for all of 2008. The Browns are obviously claiming clean hands in the situation, but Jurevicius' attorneys have brought up some interesting recent history which shows that players like Kellen Winslow, LeCharles Bentley, Ben Taylor, Brian Russell and Braylon Edwards have all suffered staph infections in the last few years while under the care of the Browns' medical staff. That's food for thought if you're interested in futures action. The over/under at BetUS on regular season wins for Cleveland is seven (Under 7 is -155, Over 7 is +125).


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