Holmes Grievance Possible
The NFL Players Association reportedly is considering filing a grievance on behalf of wide receiver Santonio Holmes for his deactivation by the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday.
A union spokesman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Holmes's deactivation and fine by the Steelers were "improper" and a grievance is possible.
Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin put Holmes on the Steelers' inactive list for Sunday's loss to the New York Giants at Heinz Field. Holmes reportedly is facing a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge stemming from a traffic stop last Thursday. He rejoined the team this week and issued an apology in a written statement, and is to play Monday night against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.
The union has not indicated on what basis a grievance would be filed. In general, discipline for drug-related offenses, including drug-related violations of the law, is the domain of the league, not an individual team. Also, the last labor agreement between the union and the league greatly limited the ability of a team to deactivate a player as a disciplinary measure. That came in reaction to the Philadelphia Eagles' deactivation of wide receiver Terrell Owens for the final five games of the 2005 season as a disciplinary move after imposing a four-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, which is allowable under the collective bargaining agreement.
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