A weird week got started with a deliberately false report that Commissioner Roger Goodell would reduce Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s six-game suspension by only one game.
Then, a report emerged that Roethlisberger and his representatives would seek a reduction below the presumably hard floor of four games.
Now, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the second report isn’t accurate. Per Dulac, Roethlisberger and Steelers president Art Rooney II will not attempt to reduce the suspension beneath four games.
“That door isn’t open,” an unnamed source told Dulac.
We’re not prepared to rule out the possibility that Roethlisberger and company had planned to make a push for fewer than four games, and that someone who takes the elevator to the 17th floor of 280 Park Avenue on a daily basis explained that such a request could cause Goodell to conclude that perhaps Roethlisberger doesn’t “get it”, and thus that the suspension shouldn’t be reduced to four games. Despite some uncertainty that arose last month during a visit from Goodell to Steelers’ training camp, the minimum suspension has at all times been four games.
So it’s possible that the report of an attempt to go below four games was accurate when published, that Roethlisberger’s representatives have since changed their minds (wisely), and that they now are willing to concede that the door to a three-game suspension “isn’t open.”
Meanwhile, it would be fitting if, in the end, Goodell reduces the suspension from six games to five, making the only deliberately false report on the issue the only ultimately accurate report on the issue.