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Prater’s suspension raises plenty of questions

Prater Getty Images

One the surface, the news that Broncos kicker Matt Prater will be suspended four games under the substance-abuse policy doesn’t generate much curiosity.  For most players suspended under the substance-abuse policy, the first sign of any trouble comes via the news of a four-game suspension.

Prater’s case has some unique facts that invite plenty of questions, however.

As first reported by Mike Klis of the Denver Post, Prater’s violation relates to alcohol.  Absent more specifics, it’s impossible to know whether Prater generated a positive urine test for alcohol or violated the policy in some other way.

A positive test for alcohol would be somewhat unusual, given the speed with which alcohol leaves the body.  In this case, Prater’s consumption would have occurred very close in time to the test, if he indeed generated a positive test.

The bigger question comes from the news, as also first reported by Klis, that Prater faced a one-year suspension, but that with the help of unofficial Broncos lawyer Harvey Steinberg the suspension was reduced to four games.  This implies that the reduction came via negotiations between the NFL and Steinberg, and that Steinberg must have had some strong ammunition to persuade the league to cut the punishment by 75 percent.

A proposed one-year suspension for Prater also would be very unusual, given that a player typically doesn’t face a one-year suspension under the substance-abuse policy without a prior suspension.  It’s possible that the league accused Prater of shenanigans relating to the testing process; that’s reportedly what transpired a year ago, when linebacker Von Miller’s proposed one-year suspension under the substance-abuse policy was reduced to six games, thanks in part (reportedly) to wrongdoing committed by the NFL’s sample collector.

The news that Steinberg achieved a 12-game reduction for Prater could be viewed as good news for Browns receiver Josh Gordon, who currently faces a one-year suspension.  But if Prater’s reduced suspension arose from negotiations between the NFL and Steinberg, the development has no current relevance to Gordon, since no negotiations have occurred between the NFL and Gordon’s representatives on something other than a full-year banishment.

Regardless, the Prater suspension raises more questions than it answers.

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28 Responses to “Prater’s suspension raises plenty of questions”
  1. strockrocks says: Aug 24, 2014 2:10 PM

    Better hope Manning and the Broncos score a TD on every drive then. There is no competent back-up on the roster as of right now.

  2. mt10425 says: Aug 24, 2014 2:13 PM

    It’s simply more collusion by the nfl to not damage Peyton’s chance for a SB ring. Poster boy’s team gets another unwarranted break.

  3. buckybadger says: Aug 24, 2014 2:24 PM

    Urine test for Alcohol can detect up to something like 80 or 100 hours if they do a ETG test. If he was in the system in Colorado he would be doing those tests.

  4. truthfactory says: Aug 24, 2014 2:25 PM

    Gives a new twist to the phrase “liquored up kicker”…

    J/k, hope the guy gets the help he needs

  5. scw1993 says: Aug 24, 2014 2:25 PM

    Why was this news buried? Golden boy’s team gets every consideration. Megahead himself never got punished for meeting with his OC in the off season, whereas you know 31 other starting qbs would have received a two game suspension. The league will do everything it can to shine the good light on nfl royalty to get him a ring.

  6. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Aug 24, 2014 2:31 PM

    Prater gets a 4 game suspension for drinking beer at home. The NFL reportedly wanted to suspend him for the full season, before begrudgingly settling on 4 games.

    This is the same NFL that had VIDEO EVIDENCE of a player knocking his woman out cold, and then dragging her out of an elevator like a corpse. The knockout artist got a 2 game suspension.

    I really really really can’t stand Goodell, and his lame arbitrary, capricious and grossly inconsistent decisions.

  7. attorneyfootballtalk says: Aug 24, 2014 2:35 PM

    How many games would Prater have been suspended if he did not drink and simply knocked a woman out?

  8. nfloracle says: Aug 24, 2014 2:45 PM

    Meanwhile, Jim Ursay hands out hundred dollar bills from the $27,000 “pocket money” he carries around while getting off scott free.

  9. joe6606 says: Aug 24, 2014 3:01 PM

    Wait. Alcohol is a banned substance?

  10. ss3walkman says: Aug 24, 2014 3:17 PM

    So Gordon should get no more than 4 games then right?

  11. Brandon in Northwest Suburbia says: Aug 24, 2014 3:20 PM

    “Wait. Alcohol is a banned substance?”
    ——————————————-

    Prater had a DUI in 2011. Per terms of the policy he is banned from consuming alcohol as long as he is in the league and subject to suspension *even if* he consumes without driving.

    For some reason Josh Brent isn’t banned for life…

  12. dbara43 says: Aug 24, 2014 3:41 PM

    I was thinking it would be steroids so he could improve his chances of tackling Percy Harvin

  13. mrbigass says: Aug 24, 2014 3:42 PM

    I’m sorry but the way the NFL handles these suspensions and punishments are almost laughable and it’s just embarrassing to watch.

    They talk about tarnishing the shield? Are you kidding me? Their actions are so comical that the real tarnishing is done by themselves…..

  14. brownsalwaysrebuilding says: Aug 24, 2014 3:57 PM

    Kiquor

  15. bingobrown12 says: Aug 24, 2014 4:03 PM

    He does great Manning face.

  16. britishraven says: Aug 24, 2014 4:07 PM

    The DUI policy is ridiculous. How can you be suspended for consuming a legal substance in a legal manner?

  17. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Aug 24, 2014 4:08 PM

    It’s really ignorant how when a player or owner get in trouble for something a bunch of people complain about their punishment compared to a punishment someone got for a completely different offense.
    It really doesn’t matter what you think or whether or not you like it. Become NFL commissioner then you can make those decisions.
    Stop making apples to oranges comparisons. Especially when you have no idea what the details are.

  18. eviltwin007 says: Aug 24, 2014 4:26 PM

    nfloracle says:
    Aug 24, 2014 2:45 PM
    Meanwhile, Jim Ursay hands out hundred dollar bills from the $27,000 “pocket money” he carries around while getting off scott free.
    ————————————————–
    I’m just curious as why it’s any of you and or everyone else’s business as what Jim Irsay does with his money?

  19. restorativejusticeprogram says: Aug 24, 2014 4:36 PM

    So punching out a woman gets a lower suspension than drinking alcohol. Got it.

  20. don2074978 says: Aug 24, 2014 4:54 PM

    Jay Feeley should be available soon

  21. ningenito78 says: Aug 24, 2014 5:22 PM

    Wait why would he be teade for alcohol? Is alcohol a banned substance in the NFL?

  22. rickastleydancemoves says: Aug 24, 2014 5:46 PM

    eviltwin007 says:Aug 24, 2014 4:26 PM

    nfloracle says:
    Aug 24, 2014 2:45 PM
    Meanwhile, Jim Ursay hands out hundred dollar bills from the $27,000 “pocket money” he carries around while getting off scott free.
    ————————————————–
    I’m just curious as why it’s any of you and or everyone else’s business as what Jim Irsay does with his money?

    ____________________________________

    I’m curious as to why you’re defending a man who doesn’t even know YOU exist and even if he did wouldn’t give you one red cent?

  23. glink182 says: Aug 24, 2014 5:50 PM

    $27,000 in pocket money is obviously to purchase cocaine. Duh.

  24. pamiho32332013 says: Aug 24, 2014 8:23 PM

    Goodell, your days are numbered. Where is Irsey’s suspension? Or did he do enough handing out money at a practice to be absolved? I’m glad Prater only had a beer and didn’t physically assault a woman otherwise he would have been suspended for a much longer ….. oh, wait…

  25. kando53 says: Aug 24, 2014 8:47 PM

    Be nice if someone actually found out what the hell is going on as this whole story makes little sense so far.

  26. eviltwin007 says: Aug 24, 2014 8:56 PM

    rickastleydancemoves says:
    Aug 24, 2014 5:46 PM
    I’m curious as to why you’re defending a man who doesn’t even know YOU exist and even if he did wouldn’t give you one red cent?
    —————————————————
    Hey genius, where in my post did I do any defending? All I ask is why is it anybody’s business what Jim Irsay does with HIS money. Why don’t you learn how to comprehend a question and think before you speak.

  27. troy43mvp says: Aug 25, 2014 6:51 AM

    I think it only fair that the NFL put a warning in all NFL cities that if women get punched by players of their organization the punishment is only one game check and no jail time. Drink however when you are not suppose to will indeed be four game checks. Thanks for showing the priority ladder so clearly Roger.

  28. 4greatestvikingever says: Aug 25, 2014 2:47 PM

    Peyton just makes kickers into drunks!

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