Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Seahawks may have strategy regarding suspensions

Sports with Art Thiel weekly commentary

The Seahawks are still very much in the running for the playoffs. That's why KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel thinks there's some sort of strategy around their two star cornerbacks and the status of their appeals of NFL substance abuse violations.

Stagger suspensions?

When the Seahawks host the Cardinals Sunday, cornerback Brandon Browner will not be on the field. He has withdrawn his appeal of an NFL substance abuse violations. As a result he will miss the team's final four regular season games.

Browner's fellow cornerback Richard Sherman is continuing with his appeal. It will be heard Friday, Dec. 14. That means he will be able to play in the next two games. If his appeal is not upheld, he would be suspended for the final two regular season games and either two playoff games or two games next season.

Art smells a strategy.

"The net effect of this is to stagger the potential punishments and that does help the Seahawks. It's the little bit of relief that Seahawks fans are being granted in this."

Team would still suffer

Art says staggered suspensions would be the best scenario, if Sherman's appeal isn't upheld. But there's the potential for both players to be out for a key game.

"It minimizes the impact. The only problem with that is that both would likely miss the big game Dec. 23rd when the 49ers come to Seattle and play for what would be a very large regular season game and a potential playoff berth. They would be out of that, but they would at least have some mitigation of impact if both of these guys are found to have tested positive."

A call for change

Art says there hasn't been a case like this where one team has has two players at the same position be accused of violating the NFL's banned substances policy. And the information was leaked after the test but before the appeals, which is not usually the case.

Art wants to see some changes made.

"What's happened to the Seahawks calls for a renegotiated policy. There needs to be transparency and there needs to be accountability because fans have invested way too much emotion and way too much money to be messed around like they are with this episode."

You can read more about what Art has to say on this issue at Sportspress Northwest.