After being benched for the first quarter due his drunk driving arrest this past Tuesday, Braylon Edwards turned his first reception of the game into a 67-yard, mostly YAC, touchdown in Sunday night's win against the Dolphins. He subseqently taught us how to dougie for the second week in a row:
Now, there's been plenty of discussion surrounding Edwards DWI and what his punishment should've been. Somebody's not displaying exemplary morals? Tony Dungy has an opinion:
“(Rex) told me he felt Braylon had been punished enough. He has been embarrassed in the media. He is going to lose money in free agency so he didn’t feel like he had to pile on him. I don’t necessarily agree with that. I think you have to discipline players. You have to let them know what you expect. When I did it, I wasn’t worried about the Collective Bargaining Agreement. I told our guys, ‘Hey, I’ve got some rules. If you’re out after 1:00 in the morning, if there’s drugs, if there’s alcohol involved, if you’ve got a gun, you’re not going to get the benefit of the doubt. And I don’t care about the Collective Bargaining Agreement…I actually cut a player. A guy named Eric Johnson was a starting defensive lineman. He and I are very good friends now, we still text, but he knew the rules. He had marijuana on the seat. He had a gun. We met and once we got the police report, we cut him.”
Rules are rules. You can't cut a guy for breaking a rule, if in doing so it advocates the violation of another rule. That's called a double standard, Tony. The NFL came up with their own rules on how to handle situations like this. If it says in the Collective Bargaining Agreement players canNOT be suspended or deactivated for first-time alcohol-related offenses, the Jets couldn't suspend or deactivate Edwards after his first (and hopefully his last) DWI. The Jets would've violated the rules by doing so. "I don't care about the rules, he broke the rules," doesn't sound very judicial. If Dungy wanted to disagree with the specific clause in the CBA, that's fine, but he's poopooing its existence. To be fair, Dungy was most likely warranted in cutting Eric Johnson in 2008 because the team had repeatedly warned Johnson to stay out of trouble. He didn't oblige, got arrested for drug possession (not an alcohol-related offense) and, as a result, was rightfully waived.
Edwards undoubtedly screwed up by driving under the influence and was already on probation for an assault charge before being traded to the Jets last year. And the Jets decision to bench Edwards for a measly quarter isn't to say that Edwards has served his time, so to speak. He still faces the legal system and the NFL will most likely impose a max fine. Further, the NFL can punish Edwards down the road under the personal conduct policy of the NFL if he's convicted or pleads no contest. If so, it will be his second personal conduct violation and he could very well be suspended.
But, as far as Sunday night's punishment is concerned, the Jets disciplined Edwards appropriately under the current rules. For Tony Dungy to suggest otherwise is flat-out wrong.