Goodell suspends Pacman, Henry for multiple arrests

Updated: May 17, 2007, 4:27 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Adam "Pacman" Jones of Tennessee was suspended Tuesday for the 2007 NFL season and Chris Henry of Cincinnati received an eight-game suspension -- both for numerous violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy.

The two players are suspended without pay, the NFL announced. Jones will lose $1,292,500 -- his 2007 base salary -- as a result of the suspension. Henry will lose $204,705.88 in salary if the Bengals' bye week comes after Week 8. He will lose $230,294.12 if the Bengals' bye week falls in the first eight weeks of the season, meaning he will miss nine weeks of pay.

After they serve their suspensions, each player must apply for reinstatement.

ESPN Reaction
Joe Theismann
The suspensions were extremely appropriate. What the commissioner has done is a terrific statement about the policies that he will enforce. I've always felt the suspensions and punishments for off-field issues weren't severe enough. This will get everyone's attention.

I strongly believe this wasn't just Roger Goodell's decision. I believe that he knew that Gene Upshaw (head of the players association) and the players wanted more stringent action taken for this type of behavior. I applaud him for taking a stance that will benefit professional football. These are two talented players who have good careers ahead of them if they choose not to continue to make such big mistakes.

What I also like is that it has taken the pressure off the individual teams. The emotion of a coach and a staff has been taken out of the equation. The commissioner has the ability to make these decisions without having to worry about what type of football player he is dealing with and how the rest of the team is affected. Now every coach in the NFL can stand up in front of their teams and truthfully say that the system will severely punish off-field misbehavior. That is huge because I'm sure there are some players who feel they are above the law because of the stats they put up on the field. Now they know that isn't true.

Floyd Reese
The suspension for Pacman Jones was appropriate. How will he react? The way I read it, he doesn't have a choice. He will either abide by the new conduct code or he will not be in the NFL, and that's probably the way it should be.

This coming down sends a strong signal to the rest of the guys in the NFL that the league is not messing around. The response by the NFL players' union is going to be critical. Hopefully, this policy will get the strong support of players' agents and attorneys. If it does get full support, this can be a great day for the NFL.

"We must protect the integrity of the NFL," commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "The highest standards of conduct must be met by everyone in the NFL because it is a privilege to represent the NFL, not a right. These players, and all members of our league, have to make the right choices and decisions in their conduct on a consistent basis."

In a letter to each player, Goodell wrote: "Your conduct has brought embarrassment and ridicule upon yourself, your club, and the NFL, and has damaged the reputation of players throughout the league. You have put in jeopardy an otherwise promising NFL career, and have risked both your own safety and the safety of others through your off-field actions. In each of these respects, you have engaged in conduct detrimental to the NFL and failed to live up to the standards expected of NFL players. Taken as a whole, this conduct warrants significant sanction."

Jones' off-field conduct has included 10 incidents where he was interviewed by police. The most recent took place in Las Vegas during the NBA All-Star weekend. Las Vegas police have recommended felony and misdemeanor charges against Jones after a fight and shooting at a strip club that paralyzed one man.

Jones' suspension could be longer or shorter depending on developments in that case, an official with knowledge of the details of the suspension told The Associated Press. He requested anonymity because the Las Vegas case is still pending.

If Jones sees little hope in an appeal of Goodell's one-year suspension, his representative told ESPN's Chris Mortensen on Wednesday that Jones likely will re-enroll at West Virginia to pursue his college degree.

"He's not conceding his fate entirely at the moment but the backup plan is to get him in school, go after his degree and train with the football team," said Michael Huyghue, his representative.

Jones is consulting with his representatives about his next course of action and likely will have a decision on whether to appeal the suspension next week.

Jones told The Tennessean of Nashville that he wasn't ready to talk about the suspension.

"I don't really have anything to say right now,'' he told the newspaper. "I just want to make sure I say the right things and not anything out of frustration. I am just going to chill out a few days."

Reached at her Georgia home, Jones' mother, Deborah Jones, said: "I just pray that this can be changed. This is not fair for him. It's just not fair."

Henry was arrested four times in a 14-month span, resulting in two benchings by coach Marvin Lewis and a two-game league suspension. He was one of nine Bengals arrested in nine months.

Goodell handed down the suspensions under the NFL's existing conduct policy and also announced a new broader policy that will allow longer fines and suspensions for players and potential penalties against teams.

Both the Titans and the Bengals said they supported the suspensions.

"While we regret the circumstances that called for it, it's good for both Chris and the Bengals to have the matter resolved," said Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. "Our team will move forward, and now it is up to Chris to acquire a more mature understanding of his responsibilities as a player for the Bengals and a representative of the NFL."

NFL One-Year Suspensions
Here are some notable season-long suspensions of NFL players:
Season Player Reason
2007 Adam "Pacman" Jones Personal Conduct
2006 Ricky Williams Substance Abuse
2005 Onterrio Smith Substance Abuse
2002 Darrell Russell Substance Abuse
1983 Art Schlichter Gambling
1963 Alex Karras Gambling
1963 Paul Hornung Gambling

The Titans released the following statement:

"We appreciate the Commissioner's thoughtful decision today and the discipline plan imposed on Adam Jones," the Titans said. "We respect this decision and are confident this is in the best interest of the league and the team. We are hopeful that it will achieve the goals of disciplining the player and eventually enabling him to return to the field of play. Our goals for Jones are consistent with the league's in that regard."

The Titans haven't yet decided what to do when Jones returns.

"Unfortunately this decision does not end our deliberations about this player for our team," owner Bud Adams said in a statement, the only comment by the team on Tuesday.

"We will need assurances from the player on a number of issues before we are comfortable having him return to the team. Until we see a change in behavior through his actions and until he shows the ability to avoid controversy off the field, we will move forward with the possibility that he may not return to this team," Adams said.

The Titans also want to know how the suspension without pay affects Jones' contract and the team. He is under contract through 2009 with guaranteed salaries through 2008, which the team said "can be dealt with by the team in due course."

Jones' suspension carries the following conditions:

• He must have no more run-ins with law enforcement.

• He must comply with all required counseling, education and treatment assigned by the NFL or the judicial system.

• He must obey the restrictions that have been agreed to by him and the Titans.

• He may not be at the Titans' facility through May 31 and may not participate in any practices or workouts during his suspension. Starting June 1, he must visit the team facility once per week to meet with the team's player development director. Also, beginning June 1, he is permitted to spend one day a week at the team facility for conditioning, film study and other activities.

• In conjunction with the Titans, Jones must develop a structured program of community service or other activity. This program must be submitted to the NFL for approval.

Henry will be reinstated after the Bengals' eighth regular-season game if he meets the following conditions:

• He must have no more run-ins with law enforcement.

• He must comply with all required counseling, education and treatment assigned by the NFL or the judicial system.

• He is allowed to be at the Bengals' facilities during the rest of the offseason and he must meet weekly with the team's player development director.

• If he fully complies with all conditions, he may participate in the training camp and Bengals preseason games.

• During the 2007 season, he must meet weekly with the team's player development director, but he may not attend or participate in practice.

• He must fully comply with all conditions imposed on him by any court, including requirements of community service.

If Jones and Henry do not fully comply with these conditions, they could be permanently banished from the NFL.

"I must emphasize to you that this is your last opportunity to salvage your NFL career," Goodell wrote to the players. "I urge you to take full advantage of the resources available to support you in that effort."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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