If the NFL Player's Association is successful in getting amnesty for players who ran afoul of the league's personal conduct policy during the NFL lockout, it could greatly benefit Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib.
Talib, 25, was indicted for assault with a deadly weapon for his role in a March 21 shooting incident in Garland, Texas. The case has not yet been set for trial.
Players are asking that no discipline be given to players who violated the personal conduct policy, according to nationalfootballpost.com founder and ESPN NFL business analyst Andrew Brandt. In a story discussing the top 10 issues during the current collective bargaining negotiations between the NFL and its players, Brandt notes that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said players who violate the personal conduct policy during the lockout will be disciplined when a new CBA is passed.
"Commissioner Goodell's effort to maintain the integrity in the NFL has been a staple of his tenure and owners expect the policy to continue and apply retroactively to lockout conduct,'' Brandt said.
But Brandt also says negotiations present an opportunity for players to express their belief that Goodell has been judge and jury on these issues.
"Players feel Goodell has jumped the shark with overzealous discipline in a Policy not collectively bargained,'' Brandt said. "They want an independent arbitrator for appeals and with no governing CBA, no discipline for lockout conduct.
"The Policy's application during the lockout will be an issue swirled into the final resolution of the CBA. The losing side on this issue will receive concessions elsewhere.''
Talib was suspended one game last season for assaulting a cab driver in 2009. He has two issues regarding his future with the Bucs. If convicted, Talib could face up to 20 years in prison. Any admission of guilt, even to a lesser charge, could result in further suspension by the NFL.