|NFL suspends Tank Johnson for eight games|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 04 June 2007 21:08|
That would be after six games, not the eight that the defensive tackle was suspended for on Monday by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Under terms of the suspension for Johnson's violation of the league's toughened personal conduct policy, Goodell said the ban could be reduced to six games if Johnson has no further involvement with law enforcement and undergoes counseling.
``I am looking at it like a six-game suspension, because I definitely am very confident that I'm capable of doing everything that he's asked me to do and more,'' Johnson said.
``I have faith in Tank,'' coach Lovie Smith said. ``Tank has been a different guy for a long time. I think he's demonstrated that, and this is just another step toward getting him back on the field and getting this past behind him.''
Johnson is the third player to receive a hefty suspension from Goodell, who became commissioner in September. Johnson recently spent two months in the Cook County jail for violating probation on a gun charge. He joins Tennessee's Adam ``Pacman'' Jones, suspended for the entire season, and Cincinnati's Chris Henry, out eight games.
Jones, who's appealing his suspension, has been arrested five times and had 10 interviews with police since being drafted in April 2005. Henry is one of nine Bengals arrested last year - one of the reasons Goodell, with the approval of the players' union and the newly established players' council, established his ``get tough'' policy.
Johnson will be allowed to attend training camp and play in the preseason.
``It's not my call to say whether it's fair or unfair,'' Johnson said. ``But Roger Goodell's a fair man; I know that. He took everything into consideration that he and I talked about, and what he came up with is what he came up with. If it's in the best interest of the NFL, then I'm all for it, too.''
If he misses eight games, Johnson loses $255,000, based on his salary for the 2007 season of $510,000.
``I feel like if this is what they feel is the sanction that is correct, then it's in the best interest of the National Football League,'' Johnson said. ``I'm a proud member of the National Football League, and I want to be that for a long time.''
Last December, police raided the 300-pound defensive tackle's suburban Chicago home and found six unregistered firearms, a violation of his probation on an earlier gun charge. That charge stemmed from Johnson's 2005 arrest after a Chicago nightclub valet reported seeing Johnson with a handgun in his SUV. He subsequently pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge.
Two days after last December's raid, Willie B. Posey, Johnson's bodyguard, was shot and killed in an early-morning fight while he and Johnson were at a Chicago nightclub.
Johnson was suspended by the Bears for one game for being at the club. But he played in the Super Bowl as the Bears lost to Indianapolis.
In March, Johnson went to jail for violating his probation. Last month, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor weapons charge stemming from the December raid as part of a deal with prosecutors that kept him from serving more time in jail. He was ordered to serve 45 days, which he served concurrently with the sentence for violating his probation.
If he misses eight games, Johnson would return against Oakland on Nov. 11. If the suspension is lifted after six games, he would play against Philadelphia on Oct. 21. Both are road games.