How long will Nick Fairley be suspended?


There is little doubt know, after two off season arrests, that Detroit Lions DT Nick Fairley will serve some manner of suspension during the 2012 NFL season.  We can say much the same thing about RB Mikel Leshoure. It is not a good thing as the Lions were likely going to rely on these two players to really step it up this year, and now both are stating league punishment square in the face. When looking a recent incidents similar to these we can start to guess just how long Fairley and Leshoure will be sitting in NFL’s version of the sin bin.

Vincent Jackson, formerly of the San Diego Chargers pled guilty to a second DUI charge in 20120 and was suspended three games. Seattle Seahawk Leroy Hill was suspended one game after a marijuana charge and settling a domestic assault charge. He was also fined an additional week’s worth of salary.

The NFL and the Lions are in tricky legal waters. First and foremost they will have to wait out the court system before handing down any punishment to Fairley and Leshoure. However, the only way both players avoid a suspension is by being found not guilty for one or both incidents. It seems very likely that both players have entered the first phase of the NFL’s Substance Abuse Policy. That means that both are likely going to face some kind of league sanctions for these off season actions.

Given that both are facing counts of marijuana possession, a suspension is coming. Atlanta Falcons DT Jonathan Babineaux was suspended one game for a similar charge in 210. However, with repeated off season arrests there may be a strong urge for the league (and even among Lions fans themselves) for this two players to be made an example of.

Let’s face it, star players get away with behavior like this. The public, league, and teams are willing to justify bad behavior by star players in exchange for the success they bring on the filed. In Detroit Miguel Cabrera is a very recent example of exactly that. However Fairley and Leshoure are still very unproven commodities. Leshoure has yet to play a single NFL game. Both players are unproven, and if they are already exhibiting signs of entitled behavior how will they act once true NFL fame comes to their doors.

It may be in these players’ best interest right now to send a clear message that this kind of behavior is simply unacceptable. It may make them better men, it may keep them out of trouble, and it may stop them for hurting their team with their irresponsible actions.

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