NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger today for a maximum of six games without pay to start the 2010 season, a suspension that could be reduced to four games if he successfully completes counseling or treatment mandated by the NFL.
Roethlisberger will not be able to participate in any team activity until he completes a professional behavioral evaluation.
The suspension means Roethlisberger will miss at least games to open the season against Atlanta, Tennessee, Tampa Bay and Baltimore. The Steelers have the bye week in the season’s fifth week and then play Cleveland and Miami, additional games Roethlisberger would miss if he gets the full suspension Goodell issued today.
Roethlisberger will lose at least $1,894,117.64 of his 2010 salary for missing four games. If he misses six, it would take place over the Steelers’ bye week, which means he would lose seven weeks of salary or $3,314,705.87.
In addition, the Steelers will be fined $200,000 under Goodell’s policy instituted last year that a team also will be punished if its players violate the NFL personal conduct policy.
Goodell levied the punishment on Roethlisberger for his actions in Milledgeville, Ga., where a young woman accused him of sexually assaulting her in the early hours of March 5. Authorities there declined to charge him with a crime. Roethlisberger thus becomes the first NFL player Goodell has suspended for violating the conduct policy even though he was never charged with a crime.
During his suspension, Roethlisberger will not be permitted to practice or work out at the Steelers facility, although he will be permitted to practice in training camp and to play in preseason games.
With Big Ben sitting out the 1st half of the regular season The Cleveland Browns have a great chance to get a lead on The Steelers in the AFC North Division. The Browns will head to Heinz feild to take on the Roethlisburger-less Steelers on Oct. 17th.
thanx to Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette