I was so ready to just keep on being smug to everyone else in the league who’s teams were having legal troubles. Other than Steelers OT Mike Adams (who did nothing wrong other than potential fabricate a story in court while being the prosecutor), the Steelers stayed away from “Johnny Law” this offseason. That is until Wednesday night.
Twitter and just about every Pittsburgh news online media blew up with reports that Pittsburgh Steelers 2nd year running back, Le’Veon Bell and newly acquired running back free agent LeGarrette Blount (oh the irony in a name) were arrested for possession of marijuana. Bell was also booked for DUI. A third person in the vehicle, female, was also present during the arrest, but no there is no info yet about who she is and what she has to do with all of this.
For those in Steeler Nation who are concerned with league punishments, the two will not be formally hit with any discipline from the NFL until after the men have received their papers in the mail from police regarding formal charges, etc. regarding the arrest. There’s a chance that the female in the car could claim that the weed was hers, which might absolve the two men of any league substance abuse policy violations. The league has never formally punished a player for DUI – although ex-Cowboy Josh Brent was probably looking at an interesting situation if he wasn’t already released by the Cowboys following his vehicular manslaughter while drunk.
The Steelers play the Eagles on Thursday night and both backs are in Philly. Blount traveled with the team, while Bell hung back and flew separately (on his own dime no less). The question that I pose is – will the Steelers go ahead and punish both players? And when? Thursday night?
This is too familiar territory with Santonio Holmes being caught with dope. The Steelers sat him for a game and then he went bye bye in the following offseason. What is in store for the young Bell and veteran Blount? Should the coaches sit them both tonight as a large warning shot? Should they wait until Week 1 against the Browns?
What they did was incredibly stupid, and the league might slap them both with a game. If not, then the Steelers might be pressed to take action on their own. Honestly, it serves no one for both to sit out tonight’s game. It does not help the evaluation of the team in preseason, and the game is meaningless as far as win/losses go. If the coaches and front office want to give fair punishment (and warning to other players on the roster) would be to sit them both Week 1. That shows that their actions directly and negatively impact the team. If you want it to be a warning to other players on the team, announce that’s what you will do – after the game in Philly.
What do the rest of you think the punishment (if any) should be for these two knuckleheads?