By now you've heard of the horribly irresponsible mistake made by Joe Morgan. The Saints' deep threat and heavy favorite to land the #3 receiver job allegedly registed a 0.218 blood alcohol content, which is pretty high. This wasn't a case of a guy having a few beers and getting behind the wheel. This is ten beers plus. He was hammered and this is very disappointing to see from many angles. Not harping on the fact that he has a kid and he put people's lives in serious danger, which is clearly the biggest crime in all of this, this also causes serious harm to Morgan's chances of making the team. You know Sean Payton will not stand for this type of behavior. And while Morgan is the overwhelming favorite to be the third receiver, his roster spot isn't as secure as most primary backups because he's got some stiff competition from Nick Toon and Kenny Stills, among others, assuming the Saints don't bring in anyone else. This is just so unbelievably stupid on his part. But this brings me to the question: does Roger Goodell take this opportunity to drop the hammer on a Saints' player? You know he's dying to.
Per Mike Floria on ProFootballTalk.com:
"DUIs don't fall under the personal-conduct policy. Drunk driving gets processed under the substance-abuse policy. And the substance-abuse policy provides that, ordinarily, a player will only be fined for a first-offense DUI."
Now we don't know if this is Morgan's first substance offense or not because they don't always leak that information, but assuming it is the NFL typically fines a player two game checks and that's it. So assuming this is an isolated problem and Morgan cleans up his act, he may be able to put this behind him without too harsh of a sentence on the field. That is, assuming Roger Goodell doesn't take the opportunity to drop the hammer on a Saints player. Some of you may roll your eyes at my conspiracy theory suggestion but know the NFL has been pushing very hard, with resistance from the NFLPA, to beef up their DUI policy.
Once again, per Mike Florio:
"Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the league has pushed hard for a two-game suspension for a first offense, but the union has resisted. The source said that the parties had agreed to a one-game suspension plus a one-game fine last year for a first offense, but the finalization of that agreement has been bogged down by the parties’ inability to agree to the procedures for HGH testing."
If Goodell was going to test drive this new policy, what better time than to levy something that's possibly already been agreed to with the NFLPA against the team he has an axe to grind with? He hasn't held back on punishing the Saints in unprecedented ways in the past, and Morgan's levels were high enough that he could probably get away with using that as justification. Ultimately this is Morgan's fault for being an idiot, but don't expect any favors coming from the league. Part of me expects worse than what normally happens. Way to fail, Joe.