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League not ready to address Josh Brent’s status

Josh Brent, Kevin Brooks AP

With retired Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent receiving a 10-year prison sentence that ultimately will result in 180 days behind bars, the man convicted of intoxication manslaughter in the death of teammate Jerry Brown will be out of jail by late July.

And, in theory, Brent will be free to return to the NFL.

But the league could have something to say about that.  Free-agent receiver Donte’ Stallworth served a one-year suspension after pleading guilty to similar charges; now that the justice system has spoken with respect to Brent, the NFL could do the same thing.

Currently, the league isn’t focused on Brent’s future.  “We will deal with this issue down the road,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT.

It nevertheless presents an intriguing dilemma for the league, given that Brent is the first player who chose to impose, as a practical matter, a suspension on himself by retiring with the charges pending.  By helping the league avoid the potentially awkward prospect of taking action against a man who was entitled to the presumption of innocence pending trial, Brent should get some consideration when the time comes to determine whether he’ll be welcomed back to the league.

Whatever the NFL does, the NFL Players Association faces a potentially awkward situation, too.  On one hand, the NFLPA has a duty to fight the league on Brent’s behalf.  On the other hand, a member of the union died because of Brent’s criminal misconduct.

Regardless, if Brent decides to return to football after he pays his debt to society, the NFL will have to decide whether he should be suspended above and beyond the one year he already has missed, at his own choice.

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19 Responses to “League not ready to address Josh Brent’s status”
  1. jessefootball says: Jan 24, 2014 7:00 PM

    The NFL is not ready to address Josh Brent’s status. But it has already managed to address Richard Sherman’s trash-talking.

    On one hand, the NFL wants Sherman to keep up appearances by avoiding overzealous trash-talk.

    Meanwhile, the NFL has current and former players being accused of murder, rape, drug trafficking, drunk driving and other crimes.

    When is the NFL going to get its act together?

  2. nicofthenorthstar says: Jan 24, 2014 7:01 PM

    He’ll be back, probably eligible by the ninth game next year. This is the NFL we’re talking about. Ray Lewis was the face of the league before he retired. Clearly, killing people does not make one an undesirable employee.

  3. purplengold says: Jan 24, 2014 7:07 PM

    A year is enough already. Let him play.

  4. smacklayer says: Jan 24, 2014 7:07 PM

    Life suspention! Being an NFL player is a grand priveledge that only a small handfull of people can attain. If you can not give that priveledge the respect it deserves, you are not worthy to be a member of this fraternaty. Sorry Mr. Brent, I am sure your life is wrecked permanently over this, however your NFL card has been revoked.

  5. deep64blue says: Jan 24, 2014 7:20 PM

    2 year ban, one of which he has served already.

  6. 1rockyracoon says: Jan 24, 2014 7:29 PM

    Why would the league discuss the status of a retired player. How would it benefit them to discuss him at this time?

  7. mcn88 says: Jan 24, 2014 7:30 PM

    He will be back NFL is all about 2nd chances. It was an accident. Im not condoning it but it wasnt done with intent to harm anyone.

  8. thestiffxone says: Jan 24, 2014 7:37 PM

    “that guy has really weird hair” – Tommy Callahan

    That guy being Josh Brent.

    Murder is cool, but shooting your own leg and torturing/killing dogs… NO WAY!!!

    Not so much meaning NFL punishment, just the American judicial system.

  9. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Jan 24, 2014 7:40 PM

    So that’s what a stinking drunken manslaughter is worth these days??? Pretty sad…. What did he have relatives on the jury or something…. Shameful…. I’m embarrassed for the state of the legal system…. Where is the responsibility??? How do I explain this to my kid when he asks???? Sure little buddy the justice system got your back if you take the lives of other people for granted….

  10. tinopuno says: Jan 24, 2014 7:41 PM

    Currently, the league isn’t focused on Brent’s future. “We will deal with this issue down the road,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT.

    Translation: “We have not yet received our instructions from Jerry Jones on just how to handle this one.”

  11. bennyb82 says: Jan 24, 2014 7:43 PM

    I would have to think a one year ban will suffice if that is what Stallworth got. Donte killed a pedestrian so I wouldn’t think killing a passenger who got in the car with a drunk driver will be viewed as any worse. Brent should really just be thankful he did not shoot his own leg in New York.

  12. tvjules says: Jan 24, 2014 7:56 PM

    He looks like he’s aged 10 years in that picture.

  13. hardjudge says: Jan 24, 2014 8:27 PM

    to jetsjetsjetsnow, in Texas the jury tries the case, but doesn’t impose the sentence, so don’t blame the jury, blame the judge.

  14. chaney13 says: Jan 24, 2014 8:50 PM

    Playing in the nfl and making a minimum of mid- to high- 6-figure salary is a privilege no killer should be eligible for. This guy should be flipping burgers for the rest of his life (which will last much longer then 180 days or the life of his friend)

  15. purplengold says: Jan 24, 2014 10:14 PM

    lots of angry posts tonight

  16. dallashomer says: Jan 24, 2014 10:28 PM

    From sad to pathetic. I’m ashamed of my metroplex right now.

  17. doggeatdogg says: Jan 24, 2014 11:00 PM

    The fact that the idea of coming back into the league is being floated after a gift of a sentence is outrageous enough. He should be thankful for what he got. Will he give up drink forever? Not likely. How about the idea of never driving again if given the chance to come back and play? No likely. In that case, he should start looking into doing a major life transformation which does not involve football.

    Every April over three hundred young men vie for the opportunity this man through away. So be it. He needs to move on. Hopefully he can be smart with the money he has left and invest it, avoid the snakes that will chase him for it, and live his life in peace.

  18. txnative61 says: Jan 25, 2014 2:50 AM

    He should come back and give most of the money to Jerry Brown’s family. Do the right thing.

  19. propertyofthebroncos says: Jan 25, 2014 10:46 AM

    Sorry but once you have KILLED a man, and especially after repeating your stupid actions, you should NEVER be allowed to play professionally again. The NFL is a privilege, not a right. He squandered his chances at being able to earn that privilege. The NFL needs to take a stand and stop allowing players to get away with these horrible tragedies.

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