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Pot precedent creates dilemma for Steelers

Bell Getty Images

The Steelers haven’t had a player face marijuana possession charges since 2008.  They now have two.  The way they handled that six-year-old incident could create an awkward situation for the 2014 Steelers.

The last time it happened, the Steelers deactivated receiver Santonio Holmes with pay for the next regular-season game.  Technically, any discipline imposed by the team infringes on the league’s exclusive jurisdiction under the substance-abuse policy.  And while a suspension of up to four games without pay is available for conduct detrimental to the team, the labor deal doesn’t contemplate a paid suspension.

So what will the Steelers do about running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount, who were simultaneously charged with marijuana possession after being stopped by a police officer in the Pittsburgh suburb of Ross Township?  If the Steelers deactivate both for Week One against the Browns, the Steelers will have a harder time holding serve against a division rival.  If they do nothing, they’ll contradict the precedent created by the Holmes situation.

Don’t be shocked if the Steelers let this one play out, since neither Bell (who also was charged with DUI) nor Blount will face discipline from the NFL until the legal case is resolved in a way that reflects responsibility of some sort for the charges they face.  With a third person in the car who possibly will contend that the 20 grams of marijuana were hers and not theirs, it’s possible that Blount eventually will escape liability.  (With police contending that all three already have admitted to possession of marijuana, that one could be hard to pull off.)  While the DUI would remain an issue for Bell, a first offense usually results in a two-game fine; marijuana possession routinely triggers a one-game suspension.

Meanwhile, the police officers in and around Pittsburgh have a reputation for not being overly aggressive when it comes to Steelers players — unless those players were overly aggressive when dealing with the cops.  It’ll be interesting to see any video or audio generated by the traffic stop for evidence of cooperation or lack thereof by Bell and Blount.

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56 Responses to “Pot precedent creates dilemma for Steelers”
  1. aceakking says: Aug 20, 2014 8:20 PM

    Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount are an embarrassment to the Steelers organization. Bill Leavy avoided getting caught for being bribed by the Steelers. Why can’t Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount learn from him?

  2. sportsfan18 says: Aug 20, 2014 8:23 PM

    Well, if they want to do what they did years ago to the other player, they simply hold one out of game 1 and then hold the other out in game 2.

    No reason both have to sit in the same game.

  3. citizenstrange says: Aug 20, 2014 8:24 PM

    I can’t wait to hear Tomlin’s nonsensical, gobbledygook, double-talk on this one.

  4. mattson01 says: Aug 20, 2014 8:24 PM

    I would anticipate a minimum two game suspension for the both of them regardless of what transpires elsewhere. Simply being a situation that may look detrimental to the team and themselves is their exclusive responsibility at all times! They have both failed to do that.

  5. calvinthegreat82 says: Aug 20, 2014 8:27 PM

    Top 3 List of most NFL Championships (including Superbowls)

    #1) Green Bay Packers : 13

    #2) Chicago Bears : 9

    *Two most Historic teams in the NFL, this two teams are why even have and NFL today.*

    #3) New York Giants : 8

    Steelers need to learn respect.

  6. 1mommicked1 says: Aug 20, 2014 8:29 PM

    what idiots

  7. redandgoldhitman52 says: Aug 20, 2014 8:29 PM

    steelers are toast with their rb problems and wet paper bag defence. 5-11 at best and last place in their division.

  8. nygmann says: Aug 20, 2014 8:33 PM

    This may have serious repercussions…. in my fantasy football league that is… ahahah! Bell is my #2 draft pick and my RB1.

  9. lamontjoe says: Aug 20, 2014 8:33 PM

    Come on, if you’re going to smoke, do it at home. IDGAF if it’s only weed. Save it until you get home, and police will leave you alone. Have some damn sense. SMH.

  10. jmblosser82 says: Aug 20, 2014 8:35 PM

    Bowe just received a 1 games suspension. That should be all these 2 get for first time offenders. Holmes was a locker room problem, he got into trouble other then weed.

  11. rajbais says: Aug 20, 2014 8:36 PM

    How about do the same thing that they did with Big Ben, nothing.

    At least when Santonio was cut mike Wallace came off a 6 TD rookie season as a 3rd stringer and Hines ward and Heath miller were there.

    They have no RBs after Blount and Bell. Just leave it alone.

  12. frenchysgoldfish says: Aug 20, 2014 8:40 PM

    Rut Ro…drinking game for Tomlin’s news conference. Drink every time he uses the word “obviously” in a sentence…..

  13. GenXJay says: Aug 20, 2014 8:41 PM

    Big Ben must’ve jumped out of the vehicle before the female could’ve gotten raped.

  14. folkcrusader says: Aug 20, 2014 8:42 PM

    Maybe the Steelers organization should use the power they have with the league to eliminate suspensions for for possession of a substance that is legal in half the US.

  15. jchipwood says: Aug 20, 2014 8:42 PM

    I wouldnt be surprised if this happened to patriot players but not class act players of the steelers.

  16. nflgreedleague says: Aug 20, 2014 8:48 PM

    The high character vet that the steelers brought in was just training the young guy on how to drive while using high quality pain relief. I heard Ricky Williams in available if they decide to part ways with these two, oh wait he might fit too well.

  17. vikesr4reel says: Aug 20, 2014 8:49 PM

    Steelers are going nowhere anyway
    They stinks!!

  18. Eli Pacheco says: Aug 20, 2014 8:59 PM

    They probably wish they played for the Broncos or Seahawks.

  19. flyeredup says: Aug 20, 2014 9:01 PM

    Stay classy Pittsburgh.

  20. flyeredup says: Aug 20, 2014 9:01 PM

    Stay classy Pittsburgh

  21. jmblosser82 says: Aug 20, 2014 9:07 PM

    The Steelers haven’t had a running game 6 years running. They are much improved almost everywhere else. 5-6 wins and last in the AFCN is highly unlikely. After Bowe got just 1 game it will be hard to give these guys much more.

  22. citizenstrange says: Aug 20, 2014 9:12 PM

    Is it honestly too much to ask to not smoke weed ….. WHILE YOU DRIVE!

  23. titansbro says: Aug 20, 2014 9:12 PM

    1 game suspension for possession of marijuana. A fine for a DUI. I’m not a smoker but that’s idiotic.

  24. fafaflunky says: Aug 20, 2014 9:12 PM

    this is the reason weed will not be legal any time soon
    to many bone heads are driving on it..find a couch and veg..

  25. 6ball says: Aug 20, 2014 9:16 PM

    .
    Blame Belichick, dock the Patriots a first round pick, and everyone walks away happy.
    .

  26. stoolerz says: Aug 20, 2014 9:17 PM

    Maybe will catch a break now the NFL will be saying smoking grass is okay since it involves Steelers.

  27. jacobk621 says: Aug 20, 2014 9:19 PM

    What no comment from the dude who’s got that ridiculously long user name ?? Well we’ll waiting ,,, Bwahwahwahwa !!!

  28. samsonight1010 says: Aug 20, 2014 9:22 PM

    Stop this facade of a “top class organization,” they got rid of santonio because they had young, talented receivers at the time and didn’t need him anymore. Their quarterback raped somebody, but his backup was Charlie Batch, so, no action. They need a back, so they won’t act on this. They are no classier than any other team in the league

  29. thebirdsareback says: Aug 20, 2014 9:28 PM

    Ravens got this division in the bag

  30. justafan24 says: Aug 20, 2014 9:34 PM

    Any one else surprised that Blount got caught with Marijuana? Lol

  31. pittsburghdamned says: Aug 20, 2014 9:42 PM

    Set a new precedent: Cut them both.

  32. bmd2099 says: Aug 20, 2014 9:48 PM

    The only charge they would evade in WA is the possession charge (probably the least of the 3 possible charges), and tack on open containers to all 3 as well.

  33. tebowbrokesteelers says: Aug 20, 2014 10:08 PM

    Since being tebowed out if the playoffs years ago the steelers have o winning seasons and o playoff appearances. They do have “high”hopes for them running backs tho

  34. troy43mvp says: Aug 20, 2014 10:38 PM

    Just sit them both for the Browns game. I mean…….MIT’s the Browns.

  35. pastabelly101 says: Aug 20, 2014 10:40 PM

    So what! Playing the knockout game with your wife is quite a bit worse than this transgression but it will be treated by the ex Jet employee Goodell as the more serious offense.

  36. brucetrimble says: Aug 20, 2014 11:08 PM

    Who’s the RB coach, Bam Morris?

  37. rhymeswithpunt says: Aug 20, 2014 11:17 PM

    Nah, the Pats don’t mess around with petty misdemeanor weed violations. Murder One at the very least. Bill gets the most out of his players. Go big or go home. Next man up.

  38. Squawk and Awe says: Aug 20, 2014 11:18 PM

    Get off your high horse. It’s just weed. Who cares. Play ball.

  39. nickinneohio says: Aug 20, 2014 11:25 PM

    Now that it is the Steelers, the NFL will move quickly to decriminalize pot.

  40. crownofthehelmet says: Aug 21, 2014 12:06 AM

    After Bell finishes the season as the NFL’s best RB, college football players everywhere will smoke more pot instead of steroids.

  41. briscocountyjr says: Aug 21, 2014 12:13 AM

    Pittsburgh is seeing the Baltimore criminal track record, seeing multiple court appearances per week, and feel they are not up to speed.

  42. swagger52 says: Aug 21, 2014 12:27 AM

    Better check Rothlesberger as well, it is likely the entire Steeler backfield. Their a joker, there a smoker, there a midnight toker.

  43. drgreenstreak says: Aug 21, 2014 12:54 AM

    Why can’t we all just get a bong?

  44. fanofthegame1 says: Aug 21, 2014 12:58 AM

    I am guessing the officer didn’t draft Bell !

  45. mnvikingsfan says: Aug 21, 2014 1:00 AM

    The NFL needs to realize what many states (and soon the federal government) have already done – Marijuana is not that big of a deal.

    Will the NFL continue its stance once it is legal? My guess is they will wait until all court cases (appeals) have played out. Heaven forbid they do something right for a change!

  46. usethybrainchild says: Aug 21, 2014 1:06 AM

    In 20 years, this will be looked at like a kid being caught with a case of beer.
    Don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing, is gonna be alright.

  47. bmoreballbuster says: Aug 21, 2014 1:13 AM

    If I lived in Stoolertown I’d have to be wasted as well!

  48. hess97 says: Aug 21, 2014 2:32 AM

    Dri Archer. They need to find more ways to give him the ball anyways.

  49. socaldave2000 says: Aug 21, 2014 3:28 AM

    I guess Blount had too many Blunts!

  50. denverdude7 says: Aug 21, 2014 3:43 AM

    Just do what the NFL has done with Josh Gordon. Worry about it in about eight months or so.

  51. RegisHawk says: Aug 21, 2014 4:54 AM

    I believe their appeal consists of “look where we live and play”.

  52. colv says: Aug 21, 2014 8:45 AM

    Always the case it been reported before about Pittsburg area police-give them a pass. Same in Indy.

  53. tinytoolalldrool says: Aug 21, 2014 8:46 AM

    Teenage behavior from grown men on a joke of a team. Lifetime ban lol.

  54. mmmpierogi says: Aug 21, 2014 10:00 AM

    What contradiction?

    Holmes had a track record with the law — arrest for disorderly conduct, domestic violence, and drug possession (the latter being while he was with the Steelers). Bell has no history and, to my knowledge, neither does Blount.

    It’s not the same situation at all.

  55. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Aug 21, 2014 1:15 PM

    If you don’t think over half of NFL players smoke pot regularly, then I’ve got a deal on some swamp land in Florida for you.

  56. Deb says: Aug 21, 2014 1:20 PM

    Sell raffle tickets to fans with the winner allowed to whack the two of them up and down the field with a broom. I’d pay to do that. Proceeds can go to charity.

    Don’t care if they smoke pot. Care that they were driving under the influence and jeopardizing their eligibility to play. Yes, I’d love to kick them both in the backside.

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