Hageman’s suspension traces to March 2016 incident

Getty Images

The Falcons will be without defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman to start the 2017 season. The duration of his absence isn’t known.

As explained by D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the placement of Hageman on the Commissioner’s Exempt list traces back to a March 2016 incident. The move came now because the criminal case has concluded, and the league is determining the discipline to be imposed on Hageman under the Personal Conduct Policy.

As explained by Ledbetter, Hageman may not practice or attend games. If the team allows it, Hageman may be present at the team’s facility for meetings, individual workouts, therapy, rehabilitation, and other authorized non-football activities.

Hageman originally was charged with three misdemeanors, including assault and cruelty to children, a charge that arose from a child witnessing an alleged assault. Hageman allegedly pulled the hair of the mother of his child and also pushed to the ground in a parking lot outside apartment. She suffered cuts on her left hand and elbow. Hageman also allegedly took her phone as she tried to call 911.

Although technically suspended, players on the Commissioner’s Exempt get their regular pay. This means that Hageman will receive $19,500 per week until he’s suspended under the Personal Conduct Policy, which calls for a baseline suspension of six games.

The league inexplicably does not regard placement on the Commissioner’s Exempt list as discipline, since the player gets paid. In all fairness, the games missed while on the Commissioner’s Exempt list should count as time served toward the eventual suspension, with the money from those games forfeited after the fact.