SBD/Issue 9/Franchises

Jets Could Not Deactivate Braylon Edwards Because Of Rule In CBA

Edwards Will Dress For Sunday's Game
Against The Dolphins, But Will Not Start

The Jets reportedly were "prepared to deactivate" WR Braylon Edwards for Sunday's game against the Dolphins following his arrest Tuesday morning for DWI but will not do so because the NFL CBA "prohibits the suspension or deactivation of a player charged with his first DWI or DUI," according to Bob Glauber of NEWSDAY. The Jets were "furious at Edwards' alleged actions" after he was arrested on drunken-driving charges, but were "concerned the union would try to block" any move to leave him off the roster this weekend. Sources indicated that the NFL "repeatedly has pressed the NFLPA to increase the level of discipline for first-time DUIs to a suspension of up to four games," but each time the union "rejected the idea." Glauber writes it is "time that rule is changed, so that teams have tougher disciplinary options for players who put themselves in the kind of situation Edwards did Tuesday." There eventually may "be a policy that allows stricter penalties, but not until a new CBA is negotiated." Glauber: "This is far too important an issue to be used as a bargaining chip. The NFL and the union routinely have updated policies on substance abuse and personal conduct. It's time to do so again" (NEWSDAY, 9/23).

ARE JETS HIDING BEHIND THE CBA CLAUSE? WFAN-AM's Mike Francesa said the Jets are “trying to scam everybody into this idea that they can hide behind the players' association here and put Braylon Edwards on the field, which is what they want to do.” Francesa: “What they want to do is look the other way here. … They are not in any way compelled by a players' association or compelled by anybody to play him. That is nonsense. Since when does the players' association get to tell people who they play or who they don't play?” (“Mike Francesa,” WFAN-AM, 9/22). In N.Y., Mike Lupica wrote the Jets "elect to sit this one out" instead of "taking a stand on dumb, dangerous behavior like this, against drunk-driving and against" the NFLPA. The Jets claim that the CBA mandates the "best they can do ... is sit Edwards at the start of Sunday's game against the Dolphins." Lupica: "The Hard Knocks Jets let a soft union save the guy" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/22).

JETS SHOULD TAKE ON UNION: Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp said the Jets "should have taken on the players' union and deactivate him for this game and said, 'You guys want to challenge us on this one? Bring it on.'" Sharp: "Rex Ryan is this guy who's always picking for a fight and now they're backing down" ("Jim Rome Is Burning," ESPN, 9/22). SportsNet N.Y.'s Chris Carlin said, "Go ahead and deactivate him. I don't care if the Jets were worried about a legal battle. A legal battle is not the biggest issue here. You need to send the right message to your fans" ("Loud Mouths," SNY, 9/22). L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke: "Don't worry about making the union mad. This is the weakest union in sports right now. These guys are voting to decertify all around the league. Go ahead and just throw it in their faces. They have no power anyway." Meanwhile,'s Jackie MacMullan said, "It is interesting that the players association on one hand is telling you that you can't suspend the player for any kind of drinking offense, but then on the other hand institutes a program where they'll pick you up any time of day, 24-hours-a-day no questions asked for a drinking violation. So which is it? Do you have your player's best interest at heart or not?" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 9/22).

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: Ryan yesterday said he told the team following Edwards' arrest, "Quite honestly, I'm basically tired of dealing with some of these issues. I'm tired of the embarrassment to the owner. Let's just end it; let's stop, whatever it is." Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum added, "Our reputation is important. We take it seriously. We want to be known as a first-class, upstanding organization." In Newark, Jenny Vrentas writes Edwards' arrest is a "black eye for the Jets, who two days after an important victory over the Patriots had to once again deal with questions about the team's discipline level" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 9/23). N.Y. Daily News reporter Roger Rubin: "To most of the people, what we are seeing (with) these incidents make it a frat house atmosphere (and) are basically reprehensible" ("Daily News Live," SNY, 9/22).

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