According to a report from Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean, the sentence on Kenny Britt is in and from the outside it looks pretty weak – he will miss just one game of the regular season after being arrested on a DUI charge in July. Good news for Britt and good news for the Titans as it’s obvious Britt could use an extra week of rest anyway but the minimal loss of time is the best possible result for Tennessee. Due possibly to the lack of severity in the punishment doled out, Britt has indicated he has chosen not to appeal the suspension.
This decision by Roger Goodell begs the question however – if Kenny Britt got such a soft punishment, does this mean the same for Marshawn Lynch?
Before we go into the current situations, we need to look to the past. Kenny Britt had seven different brushes with the law in 2010 and 2011 which include multiple driving convictions, most of which were plead down to misdemeanors, and a bar brawl for which he was eventually released without charge. Britt received no suspension for these incidents although he was benched by then head coach Jeff Fisher as a form of team punishment.
Lynch has had less instances but far more serious. He had a well publicised hit and run incident in 2008 which was plead down. Then there was the infamous bust in 2009 just three days after the Pro Bowl in which a loaded gun was found in his car – he received three years probation and resulted in a three game suspension for the 2009 regular season.
Now we turn to the latest incidents. In Britt’s case, he was found to be driving whilst intoxicated but he refused to take a breathalyzer. His court case is still pending. Lynch also was found to be impaired while driving and his court case is also pending. The difference in Lynch’s case is that he is facing his first DUI conviction whilst Britt has been found guilty multiple times of that offense.
The question remains – does this mean Marshawn Lynch will receive only a one game suspension or receive no punishment from the Commissioner’s office?
Ordinarily I might say this is distinctly possible given that the offenses are similar. However, we need to read between the lines a little here. Marshawn Lynch sought to stop the NFL from suspending him by going to court – an endeavour in which he appears to have been successful and will likely result in his receiving no suspension in 2012. This course of action could be seen as being taken because he or his counsel received word that Lynch was facing a lengthy suspension. Remember – Lynch was suspended for three games in 2009. It may be that Roger Goodell may have told Lynch at that time or some time after that that any future suspension may be worse. This is perhaps further proven by the NFL’s actions – when Lynch chose his passage they strenuously fought against it and continue to do so.
Was Roger Goodell a bit soft giving Kenny Britt a light one game sentence? Yes I think so. Does this mean Marshawn Lynch will get just as light a punishment? Somehow I doubt it.