ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 07: Aqib Talib #25 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly intercepts a pass intended for Michael Jenkins #12 of the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 7 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
In the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, the NFLPA has filed grievances on behalf of the suspended players. One of two grievances could have some interesting consequences for Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib. Read on, via ProFootballTalk:
In one grievance, filed under Article 43 of the labor deal, the union initially argues that Goodell lacks the authority to discipline players for conduct occurring before August 4, 2011, the date on which the current CBA was finalized. The grievance cites language releasing all players from conduct in which the players engaged before August 4, 2011.
This was ostensibly why Aqib Talib was not suspended last season, despite being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after an offseason altercation involving his mother, his sister, and said sister's boyfriend. However, with the trial now scheduled for June 25, it's still possible that Roger Goodell could suspend Aqib Talib after the trial has concluded, regardless of the outcome of that trial.
This grievance could put a stop to that, and you can expect the NFLPA to fight any suspension Aqib Talib might face. Although that might not exactly be good for public relations, that's what unions are for: to protect their own members.
Of course, this is all rather premature. Talib will have to be acquitted before any of this becomes remotely relevant. If he's found guilty, he will spend some time in jail - in the worst case (for Talib), he could end up in jail for several years. If he's acquitted, Goodell may want to suspend Talib for this public relations nightmare, but that could lead to another fight between the NFLPA and NFL. We'll have to see what happens in June.