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Albert Haynesworth suspension permitted under NFL's collective bargaining agreement

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010; 10:06 PM

Suspension permitted under CBA

Under the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its players' union, a team can suspend a player for as many as four weeks without pay for conduct detrimental to the club. So the Washington Redskins' suspension of defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth is the longest suspension permitted under the sport's labor deal.

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A precedent-setting case on an NFL team's ability to discipline a player developed after the Philadelphia Eagles sent wide receiver Terrell Owens home with nine games remaining in their 2005 season. The Eagles suspended Owens without pay for the maximum four games, then paid him not to play for the team in the final five games.

The NFL Players Association challenged the Eagles' disciplinary action on Owens's behalf, contending that it was excessive and violated the collective bargaining agreement. But arbitrator Richard Bloch upheld the team's measures after conducting a 14-hour hearing.

In a 38-page ruling, Bloch called Owens's behavior "unparalleled detrimental misconduct" and wrote that Eagles Coach Andy Reid "could properly conclude that, however excellent Owens' performance was on the field, his off-field conduct and demeanor were seriously devitalizing the organization."

But the league and union overturned part of that ruling in their 2006 labor settlement, prohibiting a team from deactivating a player as a disciplinary measure beyond the four-week limit.

- Mark Maske


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