One-game suspension for Stevens
The NFL just announced that tight end Jerramy Stevens has been suspended without pay for Sunday's game against the Falcons and fined an additional game check for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
The ruling presumably stems from Stevens' September drunk-driving conviction in Scottsdale, Ariz., the result of a charge filed before his signing with the Bucs in April. Details of players' involvement in the substance-abuse policy is confidential, but it's believed that because of Stevens' history of alcohol-related offenses, he has been enrolled in the program. The suspension will cost Stevens $75,000 in salary.
General manager Bruce Allen said the following in a recently-released statement: "When we signed Jerramy this spring, we knew there was a possibility that he could face some type of disciplinary action from the NFL for his prior actions. Since he has been with the Buccaneers, Jerramy has been a great teammate and productive player for our team."
Stevens was sentenced to a jail term of 12 days and $3,160 in fines at his sentencing in October, but the sentence was immediately stayed by a judge because of the player's pending appeal. James Nesci, Stevens' attorney, previously told us he did not expect the appeal to be heard until well after the end of the season.
Though alcohol is not considered a banned substance by the NFL, the league can impose penalties for its abuse in certain instances.
In the substance-abuse policy, it states: "The commissioner will review and may impose a fine, suspension, or other appropriate discipline if a player is convicted of or admits to a violation of the law . . . relating to the use of alcohol."
First offenses aren't subject to suspensions, but subsequent violations are subject to suspension and higher fines. Stevens has two prior alcohol-related arrests -- one while a member of the Seahawks and another while at the University of Washington. He served brief jail sentences in both instances.