Five-year-old rule rears its head for Seahawks

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Multiple suspensions in a given year won’t simply cause a team to lose the services of a player.  The teams also are required, under certain circumstances, to forfeit to the league office a portion of the salary that some players won’t be paid during the suspension.

It’s a rule the league passed back in 2008, and first applied to the Cowboys following a suspension to Pacman Jones.

The policy applies once a team has a second suspension in a given league year.  For the first suspension that triggers a fine (i.e., the second suspension in a given league year), the penalty is 25 percent of the player’s base salary for the duration of the suspension.  For the next suspension in a given league year, the fine is one third of the player’s base salary for the term of the suspension, not to exceed $350,000.  For the next suspension drawing a fine in a given league year, the penalty is half the player’s base salary for the term of the suspension, not to exceed $500,000.

For 2013, the Seahawks are in the clear, because the policy applies only to multiple suspensions in the same league year.  In the current league year, the Seahawks have had only one suspension, so far.  For the next suspension arising under the substance-abuse policy, the personal-conduct policy, or the policy regarding steroids and related substances, the fines will begin to accumulate.

That likely won’t apply to quarterback Josh Portis, who recently was arrested for DUI.  The standard penalty for a first offense is a fine in the amount of two game checks, not a suspension.

For the Seahawks, the more pertinent question isn’t whether they’ll be fined in the wake of the Bruce Irvin suspension in the 2013 league year, but whether and to what extent the Seahawks have been fined for the four prior suspensions occurring since 2011.

In 2011, the NFL expanded the program to encompass teams whose players have incurred fines for on-field infractions equaling and exceeding $100,000 in a given league year.

8 responses to “Five-year-old rule rears its head for Seahawks

  1. So it just means the owners won’t be saving any money due to a suspension. And now the league will collect that already spent money. This is why the system doesn’t work. Too busy trying to think of ways to line their own pockets, instead of tackling real problems, like holding repeat PED offenders accountable to something more substantial than a monetary fine.

  2. The teams should be held accountable in the wake of multiple suspensions and the fines should be severe. The failure to inadequately police their personnel lies with the team, more specifically the coach and GM. The fines laid out in the 2008 rule are a bump in the road. The fines should be stiff enough to make the team stop and reevaluate personnel conduct as compared to pay and go on with life as is.

  3. Sounds like the Seahawks violated a “gentleman’s agreement”. Can we get Mara to go after some of their cap space?

  4. I wonder how long before Carroll resigns and we find out he had a bowl of Adderall in every meeting room. The NFL drops a bunch of suspensions on the players while Carroll rides off into the sunset. Hold on, that only happens in college football…right?

  5. I like how they say “for the next suspension” instead of ” should another suspension occurs” because we all know its just a matter of time. The Seahawks are classless.

  6. Once The Great Roger Goodell Himself Live And In Person (TGRGHLAIP) learns that suspensions can be a great source of revenue for the league office as well as a way to further benefit his favorite owners’ teams, there will be no end to the suspensions. Remember, TGRGHLAIP doesn’t need evidence or proof or anything like that; if he wants to do something, suspend someone, it’s done and that’s that.

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