Former Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent has ended his retirement. The league, however, hasn’t.
Brent won’t be reinstated for 10 weeks. Brent’s agent, Peter Schaffer, tells PFT that Brent will appeal the decision.
“We are going to invoke our appeal right,” Schaffer said by phone. “We were truly hoping that the Commissioner’s response to Josh’s request for reinstatement would be one that we wouldn’t have to appeal, and that it would be fair and based on precedent. The last thing we thought we’d have to do today would be appeal the decision.”
Schaffer pointed to the only other recent case involving a player found responsible for DUI resulting in death: former NFL receiver Donte’ Stallworth.
“It was the same exact situation,” Schaffer said. “Both were tragic and unfortunate. Stallworth received a 16-game suspension. I base everything on precedent. The precedent was set. But Josh will serve a 30-game suspension.”
That calculation treats Brent’s placement on the non-football injury/list list and his 2013 retirement as de facto suspensions. While it’s unclear whether the NFL would have suspended Brent in 2013 while he was awaiting trial, Brent’s retirement allowed the NFL to avoid a very delicate situation.
“It’s important that Josh voluntarily retired,” Schaffer said. “He could have forced the NFL to go through a tremendous amount of scrutiny for allowing him to play pending trial or for attempting to suspend him before he had been proven guilty. Where’s the incentive for someone to do that in the future? Giving him twice what Stallworth received doesn’t seem to be acknowledge that.”
The procedure moving forward isn’t clear, given that Brent technically hasn’t been suspended. Instead, his reinstatement has been delayed. Schaffer believes that Brent should be allowed to play pending the appeal.