NEW YORK - Roger Goodell cracked down Tuesday on the player misconduct that's plagued his first seven months as NFL commissioner, suspending Tennessee's Adam "Pacman" Jones for the 2007 season and Cincinnati's Chris Henry for eight games.
"It is a privilege to represent the NFL, not a right," Goodell said in a statement. "These players and all members of our league have to make the right choices and decisions in their conduct on a consistent basis."
Jones' off-field conduct has included 10 instances in which he was interviewed by police. The most recent took place during the NBA All-Star weekend in Las Vegas. Police there recommended felony and misdemeanor charges against Jones after a fight and shooting at a strip club paralyzed one man.
His suspension could be longer or shorter depending on developments in that case, an official with knowledge of the details of the suspension said. He requested anonymity because the Las Vegas case is still pending.
The NFL suspension could be as short as 10 games, if Jones meets the conditions set by the NFL and is cleared in a pending case in Georgia, as well as the Las Vegas case, in which he has yet to be charged.
Henry was arrested four times in a 14-month span, resulting in two benchings by coach Marvin Lewis and a two-game league suspension. He was one of nine Bengals arrested in nine months.
Goodell and Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association, met with a group of players in February and again last week and agreed the league needed a stronger disciplinary policy.
"You would think it's necessary just because of the negative publicity the NFL is beginning to receive because of what's happening," said Henry's teammate, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, one of the players at the February meeting.
"It was going on for an extended period of time. Each day, each week, something was happening."
NOTABLE NFL SUSPENSIONS
|Albert Haynesworth, Titans||five games||2006|
|Charles Martin, Packers||two games||1986|
|Adam "Pacman" Jones, Titans||2007||Personal conduct|
|Ricky Williams, Dolphins||2006||Substance abuse|
|Onterrio Smith, Vikings||2005||Substance abuse|
|Art Schlichter, Colts||1983||Gambling|
|Alex Karras, Lions||1963||Gambling|
|Paul Hornung, Packers||1963||Gambling|