Report: Haynesworth to avoid suspension

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Report: Haynesworth to avoid suspension

It appears as though the NFL thinks 160 hours of community service is enough punishment if one of its players pleads "no contest" to simple assault.

An NFL spokesperson said that the latest Albert Haynesworth incident, to which he pleaded no contest in Washington, D.C. Supreme Court on Monday, is under review by the league, but a league source told ESPN that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is not expected to hand down further discipline to the oft-maligned defensive tackle.

Bill Belichick was asked Tuesday if he had heard anything about a Haynesworth suspension, he said, "Whatever the league does, they'll announce."

Patriots players said Haynesworth was back at the team facility in Foxboro Tuesday.

If the league decides not to discipline Haynesworth, it might seriously irritate some Pittsburgh Steelers fans. Their quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, was suspended six games last season (eventually reduced to four) though he has never having been arrested. Haynesworth, on the other hand, has a lengthy rap sheet.

But, Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio has some theories as to why Haynesworth may not be suspended.

From PFT:

The prosecutions case apparently had some holes. In fact, weve heard that the authorities were surprised that a grand jury even indicted Haynesworth in the first place.So if the league has utilized its security department to investigate the situation, the league possibly (key word: possibly) has concluded that, despite Haynesworths past issues, there isnt enough evidence to conclude that he did anything wrong in this case.Florio also suggests that the plea deal was a good PR move for both Haynesworth and the NFL, simply because it meant keeping the news of a trial out of the headlines for a few days. Dont discount the possibility that Haynesworths lawyers worked the back channels in order to get a feel for the theoretical impact of a no contest plea on Haynesworths employment. Though the league routinely refuses to provide any official information regarding the potential consequences of the outcome of a case, it would be naive to assume that hypothetical discussions dont happen especially if theres a way to handle a case in a manner that minimizes P.R. fallout.Here, Hayneworths decision to cop a plea avoided several days of media coverage of a trial of a high-profile NFL player. Given that personal conduct policy ultimately is aimed at protecting the shield, a players decision to handle his business in a way that advances that outcome should be welcomed by the league.

Perry's Patriots 53-man roster projection

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Perry's Patriots 53-man roster projection

With New England Patriots organized workouts finished until next month, Phil Perry puts together another 53-man roster projection.

View the gallery here

Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate

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Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate

When the topic of Deflategate was broached on HBO's Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, which debuted this week, Ben Affleck became all kinds of fired up.

"What they did was suspend Tom Brady for four days for not giving them his [expletive] cellphone," Affleck said. "I would never give an organization as leak-prone as the NFL my [expletive] cellphone . . . so you can just look through my emails and listen to my voicemails?"

Affleck grew up in Cambridge, Mass. and is a passionate Patriots fan. He made no attempts to hide his fandom, and his appreciation for Brady, as he and Simmons (also a Patriots fan) discussed the football-deflation controversy that has now lasted well over a year. 

Affleck, who said he would want to cast himself as Brady if ever a Deflategate movie was made, harped on the fact that the league wanted Brady to turn over his phone. 

"Maybe Tom Brady is so [expletive] classy and such a [expletive] gentleman," Affleck said, "that he doesn’t want people to know that he may have reflected on his real opinion on some of his co-workers."

Brady is waiting for the Second Circuit to make a decision as to whether or not it will rehear his case against the NFL. Earlier this offseason, the Second Circuit reinstated Brady's four-game suspension issued by the league when a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the NFL, 2-1. 

Pro Football Talk wrote on Thursday that a decision from the Second Circuit could come at any time. If the rehearding request is denied, Brady could then take the case to the Supreme Court. Should the Second Circuit grant Brady a rehearing, his suspension would be delaed until the court reached a decision. In that case, Brady could potentially play the entire 2016 season before a decision came to pass.