Receiver Kenny Britt may not be worried about whether he gets suspended by Commissioner Roger Goodell, but Britt’s employer is.
The Tennessee Titans have roster decisions to make, and they need to know whether Britt will be among the 53 players available to suit up and play. As a result, John Glennon of the Tennessean reports that the Titans expect to hear something before August 31, the date on which the rosters must drop from 75 to 53.
“That will be something that about a week from now, we’ll know more,” coach Mike Munchak said Friday.
As we recently explained, a suspension would trigger an appeal period. Britt would have three business days under the personal-conduct policy to initiate the process. If suspended under the substance-abuse policy, Britt would have five days to appeal. Then, a hearing would have to be scheduled and conducted and a decision would have to be made. So even if Britt gets a suspension letter this week, there won’t be much of an opportunity to get the process concluded before Week One, when the Patriots come to town.
While Britt remains on the Physically Unable to Perform list due to a torn ACL that occurred last September, the team has said that he could participate in 10-to-15 snaps in the first regular-season game.
The delay possibly arises from the fact that the NFL doesn’t quite know what to do with Britt. On one hand, his July DUI arrest was his eighth incident in three years. On the other hand, it was his first DUI — and the substance-abuse policy plainly states that the ordinary punishment for a first-offense DUI is a two-game fine, after the case is resolved with some attachment of guilt to the player.
Thus, any effort to suspend Britt via a straw-that-broke-the-camel’s-back theory under the personal-conduct policy would be undermined by the reality that the straw that is breaking the camera’s back doesn’t even fall within the confines of the personal-conduct policy. Which means that the NFL could be inviting another lawsuit if the NFL tries to suspend Britt under the personal-conduct policy for something that falls under the substance-abuse policy.
Either way, it’s going to be difficult to finalize a suspension by Week One. So when making their final roster cuts, the Titans should assume that, at least for the first game of the regular season, one of the 53-man roster spots will be devoted to Britt.