NFL clears Harrison, Peppers and Matthews

AP

Earlier this month, Steelers linebacker James Harrison said the NFL had no credible evidence against him even as the league continued to investigate claims made in Al-Jazeera America report that Harrison and others had acquired and used performance-enhancing substances.

After interviewing Harrison — along with Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers of the Packers — the league agrees with Harrison’s initial thought.

The NFL announced Wednesday that it has cleared Harrison, Matthews and Peppers after “a comprehensive investigation” found “no credible evidence” that those players were provided with or consumed any banned substances.

Free agent linebacker Mike Neal, a former Packer who also interviewed with league investigators last week, was not named in the release that cleared the other three.

The league’s release said the NFL’s investigation involved witness interviews, a review of relevant records and laboratory analysis.

115 responses to “NFL clears Harrison, Peppers and Matthews

  1. Neal is low hanging fruit. A no-name who isn’t even on a roster. This is so predictable.

  2. NFL: “Lets not suspended guys who use banned performance enhancing drugs because we cant have poster boy Clay Matthews painted in a bad light by being suspended for 2 games”

    NFL: Josh Gordon smoked a joint. What a monster. Detriment to society. Disgrace to football. One year ban.

  3. I think it is refreshing to see examples of players who are willing to stand up and defend themselves against accusations of cheating, rather than hide behind a labor-friendly court system in order to delay justice.

    #13XWorldChampions #Warriors #HeadingtoHouston

  4. I doubt they ever had intentions of hammering these guys. Seems more likely this was about establishing the precedent that the NFL can demand players interview for any reason they deem fit and punish them if they don’t cooperate. To that end, they got exactly what they wanted it would seem.

  5. This is great news for the packers opponents. Why would you want those two old guys replaced with younger and easily better talent. Thanks god- at least some good news this week.

  6. Al-jazerra is a rag. Shame on the NFL for punishing guys based on baseless allegations.
    I know these guys werent punished per se, but the NFL’s stance that they can suspend you based on allegations alone is ridiculous

  7. Word out of Park Avenue is that Roger was tired of playing Grand Inquisitor, and needed a juice box and a nap before storytime so he didn’t get cranky.

  8. The fact that the NFL quickly determined that there was no credible evidence of wrongdoing in no way mitigates the outrage that should be felt that they started an investigation based on retracted testimony reported in a source that is even LESS credible than the US main stream media. The NFL treated its players as guilty until proven innocent, and if I were NFLPA, I would remember that when the contract comes around

  9. This was all about liability. Next time a former player claims he was injured, the NFL can say that it is inherit to the game and not because the guys who he received hits from were bulked up illegally. They investigated every allegation.
    Of course, a few folks thought it was just some Goodell witch hunt…. probably nobody here on this site, however.

  10. NFL: “Did you take the PEDs?”
    Player: “Nope.”
    NFL: “Is your name Tom Brady?”
    Player: “Yes”
    NFL: “4 game suspension for you.”
    NFL: “Next”

  11. What farce. Like Peppers, Harrison, and Matthews were going to say they did PEDs. They were going to deny it, and the NFL lacked proof. It was a big lawsuit if the NFL did really do something to those players.

  12. This looks like a total power play by the NFL to me. All they cared about was keeping precedence of dragging the guys in, even if they didn’t actually think that they did it. This whole thing was just about forcing the players to come in and appear before them.

  13. theparadoxx82 says:
    Aug 31, 2016 2:32 PM

    It’s amazing what can happen when you just cooperate.

    “““““““““““““““““`

    They were threatened to cooperate.

  14. Why do I get the feeling that the NFL never intended to find anything? It’s like they were trying to set a precedent for future unsubstantiated rumors being probable cause.

  15. Wow, Patriot fans will find a way, in any and every story, to cry and whine. I’m surprised they didn’t cry more in the Bridgewater stories about Brady being injured in 2008, and blame Goodell for that injury.

  16. filthymcnasty3 says:
    Aug 31, 2016 2:34 PM
    Packer fans shouldn’t be getting too carried away here. The Lions and Bears aren’t going to just rollover and hand us the division.
    —————————-
    They have in the past.

  17. Sounds like someone in league headquarters finally realized they didn’t want to open this can of worms. They pretended to act concerned then brushed it all under the rug. The league is full of PED users, including golden boy Peyton. Better for them to look the other way

  18. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    Aug 31, 2016 2:29 PM
    I think it is refreshing to see examples of players who are willing to stand up and defend themselves against accusations of cheating, rather than hide behind a labor-friendly court system in order to delay justice.

    #13XWorldChampions #Warriors #HeadingtoHouston
    ============================
    Labor-friendly court system ?!??! What planet are you on?

    It’s interesting to note not one request for cell phones from the NFL. Gee I wonder why. smh

  19. What I learned during the air pressure circus was this: Where there is smoke, there is fire. Isn’t that right?

    If alleged equipment violations are the equivalent of PED use, as Roger Goodell claims, why wasn”t a multi-million dollar investigation launched in order to find these men guilty?

    I’m not saying they are. I’m saying the NFL, and much of it’s fan base, is of a corrupt mind.

  20. A huge slap in the face to the Patriots. There was next to no evidence Brady cheated yet the NFL went in hard. Now a new cheating scandal has emerged. There is next to no evidence on these guys and all of them are given free passes. If I was Brady I’d be livid. At this point though, all you can do is laugh at Goodell and his clowns in office.

  21. A less than stellar source makes an accusation, then retracts it. The NFL goes through the motions to talk with the accused and lets them go without anything else happening. What did anyone else expect? If the NFL did nothing, they’d be accused of ignoring what’s already been put out there. They had to “front” doing something about it, but knew they’d have no real leg to stand on to pursue anything. Everything that any reasonable person thought was going to happen, happened. The only issue for debate was the precedent it sets for the league to call players onto the carpet, but until a new collective agreement is put into place, the league office has pretty much all the leverage. That precedent, under this agreement, has already been set by previous “testing”, including deflate-gate. If the league wants to talk to you, you have to go talk to them.

  22. Nofoolnodrool says:
    Aug 31, 2016 3:02 PM
    So glad to see all the apologies from the many trolls who claimed Harrison was ped gobbling fool. ….. Cowards never own up to their ignorance.

    ———————————————————————

    Just because they were cleared, doesn’t mean they didn’t do it. Just ask OJ.

  23. filthymcnasty3 says:
    Aug 31, 2016 2:34 PM
    Packer fans shouldn’t be getting too carried away here. The Lions and Bears aren’t going to just rollover and hand us the division.
    _______________

    No kidding.

    You were swept by the Lions and couldn’t win a single Division game at Lambeau. Not even Aaron’s “For-All-The-Marbles” Bowl with the Division on the line. Are you really that impressed with yourself?

  24. The sad thing is that if the commish’s office had any credibility at all, the players would have sat for interviews without complaint, and moved on. That the league threatened suspensions only proved a point.

  25. Too bad they won’t be cleared on the field. Peppers and Matthews superhuman abilities fall to earth this season.

    ———————————–

    Matthews performs better if he’s not using enhancements. He’s runs faster and he doesn’t get hurt as much. When he first came in the league, he was bigger and he was out about four games a year. The last few years, he’s looked smaller, but he’s been faster (IMO) and he’s been healthier (tissue-wise, he had a bad thumb issue from a particular play). He simply doesn’t have the over all frame for the soft tissues to handle “juicing up” his muscles. Actually, he looks bigger this year – probably back on the juice – and I expect he’ll be out 3-5 games this season.

  26. Adolf Goodell’s lack of a “smoking gun” sealed this up, just “he said .. he said” crap-ola in the report! And honestly? – Did you really think for one second those 3 would admit to doing anything with PED’s?

  27. I have little doubt that CM3, Pep, Neal and the Forehead all used HGH and/or PEDs. I have little doubt that 90% of NFL players are on the stuff.

    Management doesn’t care what the players do to their bodies, they just care to LOOK like they care. It’s politically and economically the most advantageous position.

    However, I also had little doubt that the quartet above would be cleared either. There’s no ironclad proof and the league loses money by banning its stars. Deflategate was just latent punishment for Spygate. That’s the reason Tawmy Terrific got punished – and that’s the only reason.

  28. NFL issued a fair judgement. It just goes to show you how convinced they were that tammy lied and cheated

  29. Will the NFL investigate Brady’s Brazilian HGH allegations too? Seems like the league is showing favoritism when it comes to PED investigations.

  30. The difference between this situation and Deflategate is that Tom Brady in fact cheated. The sooner you come to accept that rather than some crazy, tin-foil conspiracy theory that Goodell hates Brady, the sooner you will return to reality with the rest of us.

  31. Wow, Patriot fans will find a way, in any and every story, to cry and whine. I’m surprised they didn’t cry more in the Bridgewater stories about Brady being injured in 2008, and blame Goodell for that injury.

    ====================================

    of course we will cry and whine, despite what you think and the average knowledge and intelligence of the typical NFL fan, most media outlets (only now) realise that the deflate gate was a complete witch hunt with fabrications and a lack of evidence.

    tell us how you would feel if your qb was suspended for 4 games with no evidence and a complete contradiction of science

  32. flash1287 says:
    Aug 31, 2016 2:33 PM
    If they didn’t have “credible evidence ” then why did they threaten to suspend them?

    —————

    So Goodell could prove he is in charge.

  33. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    Aug 31, 2016 3:24 PM
    Will the NFL investigate Brady’s Brazilian HGH allegations too? Seems like the league is showing favoritism when it comes to PED investigations.
    ___________________________________

    Where you people come up with this crap baffles me??? The only allegations even written come from you. Brazil can’t keep pool water clean, never mind PED’s.

  34. Remember when Patriots fans were screaming “you’re next” ? Wait till Goodell comes after your team? Lmao.

  35. zerotrophiessince1961 says:
    Aug 31, 2016 3:20 PM
    However, I also had little doubt that the quartet above would be cleared either. There’s no ironclad proof and the league loses money by banning its stars. Deflategate was just latent punishment for Spygate. That’s the reason Tawmy Terrific got punished – and that’s the only reason.
    _______________

    Spygate had nothing to do with it and as much as Pats fans want to feel singled out it was nothing personal with NE. The league needed a ‘perfect storm’ case to get the legal precedent that deflategate produced. Look at how it was used in this case. The NFLPA is now essentially unarmed in any significant player related dispute with the league.

  36. The Truth says:
    Aug 31, 2016 3:22 PM
    NFL issued a fair judgement. It just goes to show you how convinced they were that tammy lied and cheated
    =========================
    I wonder if that holds true without the cell phone. Makes you wonder why the NFL never asked for the cells of this quartet. Perhaps the conclusion was determined before the investigation?

  37. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Aug 31, 2016 2:37 PM
    Of course they were cleared; there was no real evidence.

    But we all know they did it
    ///////////:////////////////////////////

    Really? So it’s true Viking fans know everything? That’s not just a rumor you started?

  38. Goodel had to clear everyone after he cleared PEDton who had HGH shipped to his house in his wife’s name.

  39. Who didn’t see this coming?

    Once they cleared Gomer and lied to protect him, they knew they couldn’t use the same source to then punish these guys.

    Goodell is as bad a liar as I’ve ever seen.

  40. this nonsensical exercise is roger goodell’s way of channeling alexander haig sec. of state under reagan who came on tv after the attempt on reagan’s life to say “I, Al Haig, am in control here at the white house”….

    sure you are, roger. an empty suit son of a rich politician making $40M per. to do a job that rozelle and tagliabue did without ruining the league office’s reputation.

  41. No credible evidence that Peppers ever went to class at North Carolina, either, but he’s still thought of as a Carolina guy. Want to know why he doesn’t like to talk? He may be a lot of things, but he’s not a liar.

  42. If I were an attorney, wait I am! I would have told the NFL if you suspend my client not only will I appeal but I will drag Peyton Manning and his wife and depose them under oath and would cause all kinds of problems for Manning’s legacy.

    I have little doubt they hired way better lawyers than me who did something similar.

  43. So no PED usage, huh?

    I guess Clay Matthews’s head size was due to growing up near the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.

  44. djvh2 says:
    Aug 31, 2016 2:28 PM
    Seems like Neal is taking the fall for everyone else, just as most fans predicted would happen.
    ——————
    Then Neal has nothing to lose, spilling his guts, telling the truth. Why let the Packers continue to hang him out to dry?

    And just five words about the verdict: withdrawal is worse than the punishment. Oops guess that’s six words.

  45. pftfan says:
    Aug 31, 2016 4:34 PM
    So no PED usage, huh?

    I guess Clay Matthews’s head size was due to growing up near the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.

    _______________________________________

    Ten thousand comedians out of work and we get you. Ugh. And we all know where your head is.

  46. Isn’t it funny that out of all these comments it’s only the Viking fans that think these guys are guilty? Does it make you guys feel better about your dismal record against us?

  47. i assume all of the accused went under oath, millions were spent on investigations, and top scientists from all over the country weighed in, no? oh yeah, none of them play for the jets’ rival…

    ps: jets=woody Johnson, who employs ted wells, and who once employed pretty much everyone in the nfl front office

  48. Look who’s talking. It’s only the packer trolls that think they’re not guilty.

    Matthews has a forehead the size of Frankensteins. Just needs a haircut and the neck-bolts and it’s a done deal.

  49. Look who’s talking. It’s only the packer trolls that think they’re not guilty.
    ——–
    So everyone posting on this story is a packer troll?

  50. duece5 says:
    Aug 31, 2016 5:44 PM
    Clay the HGHer’s head is massive-isn’t that enough evidence?
    ——
    Point proved. And Mathews has never failed a test at any point in his career.

  51. Anyone seen the report from the NFL PSI information that was collected during the NFL season?

    The 2016 season is about to start and a player is suspended based on the belief of the commissioner that someone may have been aware.

    NFL fans deserve to see the data that supports that decision.

    The playoff seedings of multiple teams will be affected by that suspension. 4 teams get the benefit of playing against a backup QB and if they win that will help them get seeded or home field advantage over teams that have to play against Brady.

  52. @fireroger

    Brady’s cell phone wouldn’t be of much use since he destroyed it before his hearing. #guiltyassin

  53. The Truth says:
    Aug 31, 2016 3:22 PM

    NFL issued a fair judgement. It just goes to show you how convinced they were that tammy lied and cheated

    ————————————————————
    Nice try!
    It might be a fair judgement in a different universe where the laws of physics operate differently than they do in this universe.
    In this universe science says that no tampering occurred.

    The NFL is still keeping the NFL PSI information secret that was collected during the 2015 season. That tells me everything I need to know about how fair the judgement is.

  54. toolkien says:
    Aug 31, 2016 3:12 PM
    A less than stellar source makes an accusation

    I love this line of thinking. Funny how it is only applied to this source which is actually more reputable than some other sources that most here believe every word they say.
    If you dont think all these guys (along with most of the league) are using or have used HGH… I dont know what to tell you. Harrison was cut what 4 times early on? Wasnt Peppers already popped once? Matthews? c’mon man

    The league just doesnt want to open this can of worms because there would be no league if they did.

  55. Ha! When Harrison threatened to make Goebells cell phone fair game it miraculously all went away. What the hell was the threat of suspension since they had no evidence? They were going to let Manning walk and hang the others. Good for Harrison.

  56. Where were the cell phones?

    That is all.
    ————————-
    That’s the key question, as it is the NFL’s standard for guilt.

    If these three did not turn over their cell phones, then they’re guilty. If the league did not ask for their cell phones, then the NFL is covering up evidence.

  57. If they acknowledged the Al-Jazeera report had some element of accuracy, then that would have left golden boy Peyton Manning exposed.

    Can’t have that…

    Sweep under rug and return attention to inventing new way punish Patriots for violations they didn’t do.

  58. Where are the text messages of the equipment guy on the Packers who called himself the Ped dispenser?

  59. gomer and these guys are clearly guilty

    once manning admitted peds were sent to his house and pulled a clemens, these guys were in the clear to protect gomer’s ped use and to try to clean up his sexual assault and cheating history

  60. I have to rethink some things. For example, I thought most NFL fans were fairly intelligent. After reading a lot of the posts in here slamming these guys even after they’ve been cleared of these phony charges, I know I was wrong.

  61. It’s simple… kiss the ring and go free!

    You can’t tell me that these interviews were the deciding factor in determining innocence. This league gets crazier and crazier by the day. Love the sport can’t stand the league.

  62. Two objectives for the NFL complete: 1) establishing the power to demand interviews 2) defending the image of the players (and the institution) by “officially” debunking a BS rumor. Whether the rumor is true or not, it’s less likely to be a distraction now.

  63. Packer fans insist that the Bears are their true rival, yet in every story the Packer commenters always bring up the Vikings. ALWAYS. Either they are subconsciously obsessed with the Vikings, the Vikings are their true rival, or both.

  64. Of course that was the outcome. Not because any serious investigation was done. Park Avenue is trying to show that it can handle very serious allegations without having to always find someone guilty. Trying to cover over the deflategate debacle.
    Just as the NFL’s relative silence over Kaepernick’s protest has been obvious. And timely. Since the Kaepernick story surfaced how much talk has there been on the HoF game cancellation fiasco. That’s right, none. Coincidence? Of course not. The NFL hopes that with a little bit of luck they will be able to slide into Week 1 without further controversy.

  65. I wish someone at Al-Jazerra would imply Roger Dodger is using drugs and see who would investigate him! That whole episode was bs and Roger knows it! He needs to go!

  66. mnvikes1961 says:
    Aug 31, 2016 3:14 PM
    filthymcnasty3 says:
    Aug 31, 2016 2:34 PM
    Packer fans shouldn’t be getting too carried away here. The Lions and Bears aren’t going to just rollover and hand us the division.
    _______________

    No kidding.

    You were swept by the Lions and couldn’t win a single Division game at Lambeau. Not even Aaron’s “For-All-The-Marbles” Bowl with the Division on the line. Are you really that impressed with yourself?

    ——————————-
    The Packers split with the Lions after the Thursday night Hail Mary. Facts are our friends.

  67. If Sly isn’t credible, why hasn’t Neal been cleared? Apparantly Neal is suspect because he “knew” Sly more than the rest. Sounds like in Neal’s situation, Sly IS credible. So which is it? Makes no sense. If I were Neal I’d be furious about the double standard.

  68. So in today’s NFL it’s either a witch hunt or a whitewash.

    If altering footballs is as serious as PEDs according to Roger, why wasn’t this investigation carried out with the same intensity.

    Ted Wells too busy? Did they turn over their cell phones? After all they had months to prepare. Brady had one day to answer questions like “Yes or No do you still beat your wife?”

    What a joke Roger has made of the NFL.

  69. I think we all knew they’d be cleared as the source was about as credible as the resident lunatic that trolls every team on here. The only thing we didn’t know was how far Goodell was going to push the issue in the wake of the “deflategate” fiasco (and it was indeed a fiasco).

    To me, this whole deal feels like the league is saying to the players”See fellers? If you’ll just cooperate, you’ll be treated fairly and we can end these things quickly.”

    That’s all well and good, except for the implication that goes along with it, which is “And if you don’t cooperate, we’ll go to the ends of the Earth, spend millions of dollars, and find you guilty anyways.”

  70. The Truth says:
    Aug 31, 2016 7:02 PM
    @fireroger

    Brady’s cell phone wouldn’t be of much use since he destroyed it before his hearing. #guiltyassin
    ————————————-
    You left out the part where the NFL, before the hearing told Brady they didn’t need his phone, then used the fact that he destroyed it against him.

  71. What a freaking joke the NFL is. You can bet that the MAJORITY of players in the NFL are on some sort of steroid. The NFL has a “testing” program. It’s called wink wink nod nod.

  72. Can someone please answer my question?

    I have had 3 posts deleted. The first 2 had a four letter word for urine and some names in it. The second had the word urine and some names in it also. The 3rd one to be deleted was a version of this one, asking for the reasons for the removal. If you tell me why I will be informed enough to prevent this from occurring.

    Thanks in advance.

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