Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Conduct a priority with NFL's Goodell
TAMPA - Since succeeding Paul Tagliabue as NFL commissioner in 2006, Roger Goodell has made enforcement of the league's personal conduct policy a top priority of his administration. A year ago, Goodell sent out a memo to all 32 clubs, stressing the importance of adhering to the standards of personal conduct the league expects from players and NFL personnel, on and off the field. In the memo, Goodell said the league's standards for proper conduct go beyond merely avoiding criminal behavior. Goodell hasn't hesitated to suspend some of the NFL's high-profile players during his tenure. Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib now faces potential additional sanctions from the league, seven months after he was suspended for the 2010 season opener for violating the league's personal conduct policy. On Tuesday, police in Garland, Texas, issued a felony arrest warrant for Talib on the charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.Here's an overview of the NFL's most notable suspensions since Goodell became commissioner: • In April 2010, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was suspended six games without pay, even though prosecutors declined to charge him in a sexual assault allegation. The suspension later was reduced to four games, and Roethlisberger missed the first month of the 2010 season. • Quarterback Michael Vick was suspended indefinitely while serving 18 months in a federal prison for his role in a dogfighting operation. Vick was signed by the Eagles in the summer of 2009, and the NFL reinstated him in Week 3. • Cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones was suspended for the entire 2007 season for his role in a brawl and shooting at a Las Vegas nightclub. Jones also was suspended four games in 2008 after an incident with his bodyguard in a Dallas hotel. Jones played five games with the Cincinnati Bengals last year before suffering a season-ending neck injury. • Former Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry, arrested four times in three different states, was suspended for the first eight games of the 2007 season. Henry died in December 2009 of injuries from a car accident in Charlotte, N.C. • Running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended for the first three games of Buffalo's 2009 season after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge. Lynch now plays for the Seattle Seahawks. • The NFL suspended wide receiver Donte Stallworth for the entire 2009 season after he pleaded guilty to driving-under-the-influence and second-degree manslaughter charges. Stallworth played for the Baltimore Ravens in 2010 and could be a free agent this year. • In 2008, Vikings tackle Bryant McKinnie was suspended four games after being charged with aggravated battery, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest outside a Miami club. • The NFL has ruled wide receiver Plaxico Burress, currently serving a prison sentence for attempted criminal possession of a weapon, will be eligible to return to the league after his expected release in June. At the owners meetings in New Orleans last week, Goodell was asked what potential effect the ongoing lockout would have on enforcement of player conduct. "The personal conduct policy continues," Goodell said. "It applies to everyone in the league. I don't know how it would apply to the players under this circumstance (lockout), but it's something that I feel strongly about, that we owe to our fans."
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