NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is in no way Casper. And there certainly was no room for him to be friendly in deciding the fate of Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones.
Jones will sit out the entire 2007 season as punishment for his off-field incidents. Bengals receiver Chris Henry is suspended for half the season as well.
In this case the other shoe didn't drop. It drop-kicked Jones to the curb. He needed to learn the consequences of his actions, and Goodell is making sure that lesson is taken to heart.
16 games. No pay.
For Jones, that's a reported $1,292,500.00. Henry is out over $200,000.00.
Make the argument all you want that these guys "can afford it" because they're making millions, but a year's salary is a year's salary. That's going to hurt anyone, especially guys who would most likely expect themselves to be rollin' in dough for the next few years. Perhaps Pacman can collect the $81,000 he was using to "make it rain" at a Las Vegas club to help offset his annual expenses.
This suspension is a blatant way for the commish to make an example out of two young stars. Perhaps they don't deserve the entirety of this punishment - which I believe they in fact do - but Goodell has effectively put his league on notice: CLEAN UP YOUR ACT or CLEAN OUT YOUR LOCKER.
For Jones to be interviewed 10 times by police demonstrates a pattern. Hypothetically, even if half of those incidents had nothing to do with him, that's still five times where he's been involved in some sort of police investigation. His actions in Las Vegas left a man paralyzed. He's lucky no one died.
His year-long suspension and Henry's eight-week suspension are a wake up call for the rest of league. They're both lucky to have an opportunity to be back in the league in the future.
Pacman better straighten up his act, or next time Goodell will send his a message straight from the arcade: GAME OVER.