White out 4 games; Thomas to sit out 8
The NFL has suspended free agent running back LenDale White for four games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy and free agent defensive tackle Hollis Thomas for eight games for violating its performance-enhancing substances policy.
League spokesman Randall Liu confirmed the suspensions Thursday in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
White has acknowledged smoking marijuana. But he and Herman White, an uncle who has been training the running back since his release in May by Seattle, don't think that was the reason the Seahawks abruptly cut him weeks after trading for him.
If the 25-year-old White signs with a team he will be eligible to practice and play in preseason games, but he must miss the first four regular-season games of 2010.
The 6-foot-1 White ballooned past 265 pounds while falling out of favor with the Tennessee Titans. White lost weight because he said he quit drinking tequila before last season, but then Chris Johnson emerged as a 2,000-yard rusher and the star of Tennessee's franchise.
After the Titans traded him to Seattle for draft picks in April, White reported to the Seahawks weighing 219 pounds. Seattle coach Pete Carroll, for whom White starred at USC, said it was the lightest he'd seen the runner since high school. It appeared White was poised to become the lead rusher in the Seahawks' new offense.
Yet the Seahawks found White lacked the proper work ethic and cut him in late May. General manager John Schneider said at the time that "it became apparent at this time that LenDale was not ready to be a member of the Seattle Seahawks."
White, a native of Denver, has been working out with his uncle in Colorado and hoping another NFL team will call.
"He needs to look himself in the mirror. He needs to do what he needs to do [to get back in the league]," said Herman White. "If there are maturity issues and his work habits are issues, he has to address those -- if there is any validity to those allegations.
"If he receives the call and he's not ready, he needs to deal with the ramifications of that."
The 36-year-old Thomas split the 2009 season with Carolina and St. Louis, playing in 13 games for the Panthers. The 14-year veteran signed with Carolina on Oct. 1, a day after he was released by the Rams. The Panthers let him become an unrestricted free agent after last season.
The NFL suspended Thomas for the last four games of the 2006 regular season when he was with New Orleans because he tested positive for a banned steroid, which Thomas blamed on his asthma medication.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press