Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ta'amu Suspended Two Games

How do you drown your sorrows after the Steelers lose? Most fans go the route of Iron City and Kielbasa, but Steelers 4th round pick Alameda Ta'amu took a different route on Saturday night. After a night of heavy drinking on the South Side, Ta'amu made the terrible decision to get behind the wheel of a car, and proceeded to rack up 5 felonies, 5 misdemeanors, and 5 summary charges including resisting arrest, fleeing the scene, hitting parked cars, and attempting to hit a police officer.

First things first, I have zero tolerance for these kind of actions.

The Steelers organization responded by suspending Ta'amu for two games, which some feel is letting him off the hook for trying to run down police officers with his car.

On the surface, this may be true, but the two-game suspension handed down does serve a purpose. First, Ta'amu's court date is set for October 23, which is a week and a half before he would be eligible to return from this suspension. If Ta'amu is given jail time, the Steelers will know that well before the suspension ends and will have a chance to plan accordingly. Secondly, this gives the NFL time to investigate the incident and hand down their own suspension on top of the one the team issued, should Goddell decide to flex his authority once again. The one thing the Steelers did accomplish by suspending Ta'amu themselves was to take ownership of the situation and not leave their roster at the mercy of the courts or Goddell. The Steelers were proactive in this case and in doing so allowed the Justice system to hand down their penalties and Ta'amu to have his due process in court.

I fully expect further action with regards to Ta'amu, whether that is the Steelers further suspending him with regards to the decision by the court, or the NFL handing down some kind of suspension. One other peripheral benefit of the two game suspension is that it puts the Steelers decision timeline in the window for David DeCastro's return from Injured Reserve. If the Steelers had flat out cut Ta'amu, they would have had to fill his roster spot. With the suspension, the Steelers are given a roster exemption where they still retain their contractual rights but do not have to carry Ta'amu on their 53-man roster. When Ta'amu is eligible to return from suspension, the Steelers will have a better idea of where DeCastro is in his recovery.

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