Posted December 27, 2012

Richard Sherman tweets suspension overturned; big win for Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks
Richard Sherman suspension appeal

Seahawks CB Richard Sherman said he won an appeal on a four-game suspension the NFL had issued. (Icon SMI)

As if the surging Seattle Seahawks did not already look dangerous enough for the other NFC playoff teams, it now appears that they will have top cornerback Richard Sherman available for the postseason. Sherman, who had been facing a four-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy, tweeted Thursday that he had won his appeal to overturn that pending punishment.

When asked about the appeals process following Seattle’s Sunday night win over San Francisco, Sherman said that he was “incredibly optimistic and added that the league “broke rules you can’t break” during the investigation. Sherman also said, earlier this week, that he likely would sue the NFL if his suspension was upheld

Sherman and fellow Seattle cornerback Brandon Browner were each hit with four-game suspensions at the end of November, reportedly for the use of Adderall. Browner opted to serve his suspension right away so he could be available for the playoffs. Sherman then filed his appeal — had he lost, he would have missed Week 17 plus any Seattle postseason games prior to the Super Bowl.

Instead, the Seahawks now will have both Sherman and Browner available for the playoffs. Unless San Francisco loses to Arizona on Sunday (and Seattle knocks off St. Louis), the Seahawks will open on the road against the NFC East champion — either Dallas or Washington.

Seahawks giving Super Bowl field reason to worry

And, regardless of the opponent, the Seahawks will feel good about the matchup in the secondary. Browner and Sherman stuffed Dallas’ Dez Bryant during a Week 2 Seattle win, and that duo would have an edge on the Redskins’ corps of Josh Morgan, Santana Moss and Pierre Garcon.

The other subplot in this latest development is that Sherman was snubbed from the Pro Bowl roster, released Wednesday, quite possibly because of the stigma that comes with a PED suspension. Had his suspension been upheld, Sherman would have been ineligible to participate in the Pro Bowl. Now, Sherman, who did claim a place as an alternate, could play in that game if Seattle falls short of the Super Bowl — but he probably deserved a starting spot.

That’s a secondary situation for now, though. The key news here is that it looks like Sherman will be around for the playoffs, making Seattle an even bigger threat.

18 comments
DonHole
DonHole

"Good job Bro!"

- Lance

nortran11
nortran11

I had a feeling this was not going to stand. My buddy and I were discussing this as we watched the game Sunday night. The way Sherman went about it...the way he fought it so hard and vehemently denied his guilt...that is not the way a guy trying to cover up a no-no behaves. You just take it on the chin and say "Yup...I screwed up" like Browner did.

the12thman
the12thman

Don't you think they would have given Sherman another drug test by now?  Did he fail that?

TylerDurden
TylerDurden

"If Sherman's suspension was overturned due to a ( rumored) testing procedural error, it does not mean he was innocent of cheating....A failed test is the stigma that comncerns voters"

 

So... he has to prove his innocence to the public? How? Please, educate me.  Because this logic harkens to the wisdom of Heathcliff Huxtable who said, "Theo [son]... that's the dum-best thing I've ever heard in my life"

 

Here's what it means: There is no proof and, as such, no allegations can be substantiated. Which does, in fact, mean he is innocent because there is nothing to be proved. We cannot live in a world where accusatio

MichaelDuerre
MichaelDuerre

Yes, Jack.  A procedural error does not indicate innocence.  But procedural errors in testing can also lead to false positives.  No one really knows if Sherman cheated but him.  I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.  The collection process must have been severely flawed for his suspension to get overturned.

matcs888
matcs888

And why is there that stipulation and language in the procedure that disallows test results that have been tampered? Because in our country you are allowed due process and are considered innocent until proven guilty. If you are going to make an exception here and find a person guilty with an error, then where does it stop?

JackWilliams
JackWilliams

Once again, we have writers ignoring the morality of cheating in professional sports. If Sherman's suspension was overturned due to a ( rumored) testing procedural error, it does not mean he was innocent of cheating. He will not be suspended only because of language in the CBA that disallows test results in the event that the test did not follow the CBA procedures to the letter. A failed test is the stigma that comncerns voters, and it should concern Chris Burke before he makes his irresponsible comment that Sherman should have been a Pro Bowl starter.  

Slugbait
Slugbait

 @the12thman Rumor has it they've given him five more tests after the "positive" test came back. The latest test is rumored to have been taken today. Obviously, the other four tests came back negative...otherwise, any additional "positives" would have nullified his appeal before he flew to NY.

JackWilliams
JackWilliams

 @MichaelDuerre

It is interesting that you are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when you don't know if he cheated. The collection process does not have to be severely flawed. If the process doesn't exactly follow the letter of the CBA, a good lawyer can find a loophole to overturn the test results.

LA_Banker
LA_Banker

 @JackWilliams It is ironic that you're commenting on the "morality" of cheating while having already condemned Sherman -- something that not even the NFL is willing to do -- in spite of what is known. How many players win appeals... 5.0%? Ergo, that the odds were so tilted in favor of him losing his appeal (but yet winning) suggests that the evidence in his favor was rather convincing. And yes, in legal circles, losing chain of custody is quite a serious thing. At best, we do not know if Sherman cheated or not. He may have, and yet somehow, the universe churned out events which let him get off on a major legal technicality. Alternatively, he could have been the victim of a false positive, something whose likelihood increases dramatically with chain of custody errors and the whole reason why chain of custody is such a big deal in the first place. What we do know, however, if that you do not know what happened. Therefore commenting on writers "ignoring the morality of cheating" warrants a closer look in the mirror. Or does hypocrisy not factor in to your assessment of morality? 

BillyPelton
BillyPelton

"Rumored error? No, it wasn't a rumor, there were major errors.

TylerDurden
TylerDurden

 @JackWilliams  @MichaelDuerre

 But it begs the question - what's the point? Must one prove innocence? How? Seriously, if NFL players had to convince people of their innocence this for all accusations to play in the NFL, the NFL would consist of Peyton Manning play against himself week in and out.

 

The argument makes no sense. An accusation is not a fact.

mickeyphil
mickeyphil

 @LA_Banker  @JackWilliams According to John Clayton 10-20% of the positive tests are over turned each Season.  That is why tests are supposed to be held in confidentiality. Someone in the NFL office got blabby and ruined Sherman's reputation.  We have no idea who the players who have gotten off are because it is not publicized.  2-3 players a week getting overturned x 17 weeks x 10 years of testing and you can bet your favorite team has more than a couple Richard Shermans on it

JackWilliams
JackWilliams

 @LA_Banker

NFL players everywhere have taken note of Sherman's strategy for potentially voiding a test: crack the plastic cup. As Mr. Cook ( the collector) stated: He has never, ever seen a cup leak before. Brian Braun established the precedent in MLB for voiding a test: challenge the collection process. Originally, Sherman claimed ( to the AP) that he tested positive because he drank out of someone else's Adderall laced water bottle. Then - suddenly - he changed his tact and claimed he had NEVER said that. He relaized he stood a better chance to challenge the process itself. There is no hypocricy on my part. I feel sure that any poll taken by football fans at large would consider that the overturned suspension did not mean that Sherman did not cheat. The only fans who want to believe in that conclusion are Seahawk fans. It's similar to the Patriot fans insistence that the Pats did not cheat when they taped opposing teams.  

WstrnTrvlr
WstrnTrvlr

@TylerDurden @JackWilliams @MichaelDuerre The FACT is he tested positive, whatever the procedural mistake(s) may have been.

JackWilliams
JackWilliams

 

You put a lot of faith in John Clayton as the sole source of this 20% info that I have never read anywhere else. Every other source has said that there is only a slim to no chance of having any suspension overturned. Sherman's situation is very unique in that the testing cup was cracked - and leaking. What are the chances of a testing lab using a cracked testing cup for testing? I would say slim to none. I will be very interested in followup info on the procedures for ensuring the quality of the testing apparatus.  

BillyPelton
BillyPelton

 @JackWilliams Oh please, her, have some facts and maybe use your web browser to get your own info next time.

 

'Both Sherman and the tester — identified in Wallace’s decision as Mark Cook — acknolwedged the cup initially used to hold Sherman’s urine sample leaked, and another cup was then used. That deviation from procedure was not acknowledged in Cook’s initial report of the collection process. That fact ultimately led Wallace to uphold the appeal: “I do not believe the burden has been met that the departures, especially in the actual collection of the sample, did not materially affect the validity of the positive test.”'

 

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/seahawks/2012/12/27/cb-richard-sherman-has-been-informed-he-won-his-appeal/