The NFL really has their priorities messed up.
Clearly, the league does not know what they’re doing when it comes to suspensions. And the four game suspension handed out to New England Patriots defensive tackle Alan Branch makes that even more evident.
Branch was suspended four games for the league for a failed drug test. No, just kidding. He tested positive marijuana. Boom. There goes a quarter of his season.
So how big of a loss is this? Well, Branch has started all ten games for the Pats thus far this season. He has recorded 33 tackles and a sack this year. But more importantly, he’s out there because he’s one of the best 11 on defense. So yeah, the easiest way to explain it is the Patriots are losing a starter on a defense that already struggles with the pass rush as it is. Now, they’re losing a run-stopper. Wonderful.
For real though. This whole thing is ridiculous. This is the third Patriot to receive a four game suspension this season. There was Tom Brady with deflategate and Rob Ninkovich for performance enhancing drugs. There’s no way to defend Ninkovich, can even somewhat see the argument against Brady — whether or not it’s valid — but four games for marijuana is ridiculous.
It’s going to be legal in Massachusetts next month and possession of marijuana is decriminalized. There’s also nothing illegal about testing positive for marijuana because possession is the offense. It’s a lot better than the opioids/painkillers these guys could be using legally to alleviate their pain.
And, let’s be real: New York Giants kicker Josh Brown was only getting one game for a long history of domestic abuse. Clearly, the league doesn’t know what they’re doing. They don’t seem to mind terrible people, yet they go right after the Patriots. Terrible.