Monday, October 26, 2020

Intelligent Conversation

Ngata suspended four games for violating NFL's PED policy

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens’ playoff hopes took a major blow Thursday with the announcement of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata being suspended four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
The news comes as Baltimore prepares for a critical Week 14 road matchup with the Miami Dolphins. Ngata will not be eligible to play for the rest of the regular season after he claims he tested positive for Adderall, which is considered an amphetamine.
The 340-pound defensive lineman would be eligible for the postseason should the Ravens qualify.
“I made a mistake, and I own this,” Ngata said in a statement released by the Ravens. “I took Adderall and take full responsibility for doing this. I am deeply sorry and broken up over this. I let down my family, my teammates, Ravens fans and myself. My hope is that the Ravens make the playoffs, and I believe they can do this. And, then I can come back and help us win.”
Unlike the past when players had all control over commenting about the specifics of a suspension, the NFL’s new drug policy allows the league to publicly dispute a player’s claim of what he tested positive for.
The five-time Pro Bowl selection was in the midst of his best season in a few years as he’s collected 31 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, and two interceptions to lead the league’s fourth-ranked run defense.
The 7-5 Ravens will likely turn to rookie Timmy Jernigan as well as veterans Terrence Cody and DeAngelo Tyson to pick up the slack at Ngata’s 3-technique defensive tackle spot. Baltimore already lost top cornerback Jimmy Smith earlier this year due to a Lisfranc injury, so Ngata’s suspension strips the Ravens of another top player on the defensive side of the ball.
“This is disappointing news for the Ravens,” general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. “We are disappointed with Haloti, but no more than he is with himself.”
With the suspension, Ngata will forfeit $2 million from his $8.5 million salary in 2014 with the Ravens recovering $2 million against the salary cap. The 30-year-old has one year remaining on a five-year, $61 million contract signed in 2011, but he is scheduled to carry a $16 million cap figure in 2015, which has led many to speculate about his future as the Ravens will attempt to sign him to an extension or face the possibility of cutting him.
Ngata’s suspension is the latest chapter in a difficult year for the Ravens as they’ve dealt with the fallout from the Ray Rice saga as well as season-ending injuries to Smith and starting tight end Dennis Pitta.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Luke, I don’t know about you but I seriously believe this isn’t the first time Haloti used Adderall, just the first time he got caught. If you remember the Ravens slapped the franchise tag on him in February 2011. He cam out and played the first 3 or 4 games that year like a cross between Mean Joe Green and Randy White. Had the NFL voted for the defensive MVP after 3 or 4 games he would have been a unanimous selection. He signed the $61 million contract in late September and we haven’t seen the MVP Haloti again until this year, which happens to be the year that the Ravens asked him to restructure his deal. I believe he probably used Adderall in 2011 and stopped after he signed the mega contract. Now he knows the Ravens will ask him to restructure and if he doesn’t he will be released. I guess he figured that Adderall worked once why not try it again. At least it would improve his bargaining position either with the Ravens or another team, if he was coming off an All Pro year. I don’t believe Haloti woke up one morning and said I think I will try Adderall. I believe he used it again because he knew how much it improved his game. What do you think?
    (L.J. — I won’t speculate when he started/stopped taking it, but I’m of the opinion that this wasn’t the first time he took it. I think his strong play this year is more about his ability to stay healthy and being in good shape, but anytime you’re busted for taking a PED, you lose all credibility.)

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