The NFL Players Association is supporting Tennessee Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones' appeal for leniency to league commissioner Roger Goodell.
"Your suspension of Jones without pay for the entire 2007 season is clearly excessive and much greater than discipline imposed upon other players for the same or similar incidents," the NFLPA said in a letter to Goodell May 23.
The letter, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, was signed by staff counsel Thomas J. DePaso.
The union generally supports players when they are disciplined by the league or teams - it's a standard part of protecting players' jobs. Two years ago, it took Terrell Owens' suspension by the Philadelphia Eagles to arbitration.
Goodell suspended Jones April 10 for a series of off-field incidents in two seasons with the Titans. Jones and his attorneys appealed the suspension May 11; Goodell has not issued a decision on the appeal.
Jones had been suspended partly because of pending charges, which the union wrote "violates clearly established principles of employment and labor law."
The letter said "no player has ever been disciplined by the commissioner for conduct relating to criminal charges while they are pending."
Jones' punishment stemmed from arrests in February for obstruction of police in Georgia and public intoxication and disorderly conduct last August. Goodell also cited Jones for failing to report the February arrest and a March arrest on marijuana possession charges. The marijuana charges were later dismissed.
In Las Vegas, police have recommended charges against Jones for inciting a fight inside a strip club in February that resulted in a triple shooting and left one man paralyzed.
The Georgia case has been postponed until fall.
Manny Arora, Jones' lawyer, said Tuesday the letter "speaks for itself."
"The NFLPA has outlined their position in their letter," he said, declining to comment further.
The Titans, meanwhile, have signed veteran cornerback Nick Harper and used their top draft pick this year on safety Michael Griffin, who may be shifted to cornerback.
Jones, in two seasons, became a shutdown cornerback and dangerous punt returner. He was the sixth overall selection and first defensive player taken in the 2005 draft.
Story Courtesy: AP Wire Reports & CBSsportsline.com
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