NFL sending mixed messages

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:50 PM ET

Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Shaun Rogers was notified yesterday he won't be suspended for carrying a loaded gun into an airport.

On the same day, the Browns are lobbying to have Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh suspended for a football play. One is a federal offence but -- evidently by NFL standards -- it isn't the guy carrying the gun.

Normally bringing firearms into an airport could get a guy thrown in jail or even accused of being a terrorist and it would certainly seem to warrant some type of league sanction. But yesterday an NFL source told ESPN that Rogers will be fined approximately $300,000 and that during his visit with Browns players last week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell praised Rogers for recently helping police stop a motorist who allegedly was driving under the influence through a Cleveland suburb.

"It's a great example of a young man making a mistake on one hand and then doing something positive on the other," Goodell said.

It's also a great example of the court of justice, NFL division. This would be the one that sidelines one quarterback for more than a year for hurting dogs, but then reconsiders how hard it slapped the wrist of another after he's accused of sexual assualt against a female college student.

Goodell will meet Friday with Ben Roethlisberger, who admits faulty judgment, to discuss reducing his suspension from six for four games.

Felony

What kind of message does that send to young men who have already spent much of their lives infused with a sense of entitlement and believe the normal rules of society don't necessarily apply to them?

Rogers came to Cleveland with a spotty reputation from the Detroit Lions. The NFL gave him a four-game suspension in 2006 for taking a banned substance to control his weight. In 2007, an exotic dancer claimed Rogers inappropriately touched her at a club in Detroit, but an investigation cleared him. The Lions also had issues with Rogers' weight and his commitment.

But he is close again to being in the clear. If Rogers completes 40 hours of community service and takes a gun course, the felony gun count will be withdrawn.

The Browns, meanwhile, are after Suh's head after the Lions rookie grabbed Jake Delhomme by the face-mask, wrapped the quarterback's head in his arms and slammed him into the ground.

He was penalized 15 yards. Delhomme isn't injured. Suh claims he thought Delhomme still had the ball and he just wanted to tackle him.

Cleveland coach Eric Mangini says he's asking the league to investigate the play, and it is doing so. Browns backup quarterback Seneca Wallace said Suh deserves to be suspended and Mangini said, "it put the quarterback at risk."

But carrying a loaded gun around in public?

Not so bad. Go figure.


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