Technically, teams don’t have the authority under the CBA to punish players for off-field brushes with the law. As a practical matter, sometimes it’s better not to pick a battle.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Steelers defensive lineman Alameda Ta’amu will not challenge his two-game unpaid suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, arising from a laundry list of charges filed against him following a DUI incident last weekend.
The Steelers technically don’t have the authority to suspend Ta’amu for the arrest. But Ta’amu realizes that fighting the team on this point could harm his chances of staying with the team over the long haul.
Moreover, Ta’amu and the union believe that the player now cannot be punished by the league, since he has been punished by the team.
And while the union has the ability to pursue a grievance even if the player doesn’t want to do it, the NFLPA opted to respect Ta’amu’s wishes.
Bottom line? This case proves that, regardless of what the CBA says, teams can take action in response to player arrests.
Yes, Lions, we’re looking at you.