Upshaw differentiated between the Eagles' suspension of Owens and Tampa Bay's decision two years ago to make Keyshawn Johnson inactive for the final six games of the season. Johnson signed in 2004 with Dallas, for whom he now plays.
"There was no suspension there. A team has the right to inactivate a player for whatever reason it wants," he said. "But in T.O.'s case, this is a team suspension, not a commissioner's deal. They're different. When we bargained in those rules, there was a reason for it. The most a player can be suspended is four games. You can't go beyond that."
The excessive-penalty argument is one of three the union will use with Bloch.
The union will also argue that the five-game deactivation violates the agreement because it exceeds the maximum four-game suspension allowed under the rules for player misconduct. And it will say the penalty is a double punishment for Owens, because the team had already suspended him for last Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins.
My TakeTO will be back this year. This is the letter of the law, there really is no debate. This is a union, they have a collective bargaining agreement barring teams from doing what Philadelphia is doing.As part of its case before arbitrator Richard Bloch on Nov. 18, the players' union will show examples of other incidents involving player misconduct that resulted in penalties far less severe than the four-game suspension and five-week deactivation of Owens.
In one case, a player ran into the tunnel before the first half of a game ended because he was angry with his coach. The coach subsequently suspended the player for one game. In another, a player refused to practice when he was told he'd be working with the scout team instead of the starting unit. That player was also suspended for a game.
He's either going to be on the Eagles practice squad or released, where Houston or Green Bay will have the first choice to claim him.
Philidelphia will not want him back on their team, that much we all know, they will release him.
Trade for him now because he's value will never be lower.
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