IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) — The agent for Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent says he will appeal his 10-game suspension handed down by the league on Tuesday.
Brent was conditionally reinstated to the league, but is prohibited from participating in team activities for the first six weeks. He will be eligible to play when the Cowboys come off their bye week in Week 12.
Agent Peter Schaffer told Shan & RJ on 105.3 The Fan that he will appeal the suspension, which he believes is unfair.
“The Commissioner’s order was just not fair. We just don’t think based on precedent that it’s applicable,” said Schaffer. “We’re going to appeal it based on Josh’s collective bargaining rights and move forward.”
After being convicted of DUI manslaughter, Brent was sentenced to 180 days in jail and given 10 years probation.
Schaffer compares his client’s situation to that of former NFL receiver Donte Stallworth, who killed a pedestrian and was convicted of DUI manslaughter in 2009.
“Donte received a year suspension. That’s a very applicable, similar fact pattern, and that’s what you hope for. If something happened the same way eight times, it should happen that way a 9th time.”
Brent, 26, only received a 10-game ban, but he did step away from the game last season to focus on his ongoing legal issues. Schaffer believes that his voluntary absence should be taken into account by league officials.
“I don’t believe it was a self-imposed punishment,” said Schaffer. “What I think was that Josh knew that there was going to be some type of punishment, but he also knew that the NFL is a privilege and not a right.
“He didn’t want to do anything that would tarnish the shield or the image. He wanted to take the bull by the horn and show the NFL that he recognizes what happened was a mistake and he needed to pay some punishment for it. He wanted to show the NFL he wanted to be proactive not reactive.”
Commissioner Roger Goodell clearly didn’t consider Brent’s voluntary absence to be part of the punishment. But Schaffer believes the league needs to consider the ramifications of ignoring Brent’s decision to step away.
“Where’s the incentive in the future for future players to do it? They might as well wait to get punished. That doesn’t send the right message in my opinion.”
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