Anthony Hargrove Suspended For Half of 2012-13 Season

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Anthony Hargrove says he's a Green Bay Packer
Anthony Hargrove will miss the first eight games of the 2012 season.

If the Green Bay Packers were expecting defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove to make an early impact during his inaugural season with the team, they might need to revisit their plans.

Roger Goodell handed out the penalties for four players from the New Orleans Saints for their involvement in “Bountygate” scandal.  Hargrove received the second-harshest punishment of all the Saints’ players (only Jonathan Vilma receiver a harsher punishment).

According to a report from NFL.com, Hargrove has been suspended for the first eight games of the 2012 NFL season.  This is a big hit to the Packers, who likely knew that some type of punishment was coming, but probably couldn’t fathom him missing half the season.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Hargrove and the other suspended Saints’ players are likely to appeal their suspensions.

While Hargrove’s play will be sorely missed by the Packers because of their desperate need for improved defensive line play, the suspension of Hargrove brings an entirely new issue to Green Bay.

The Packers have never been a team to deal with too much drama.  In fact, when drama surrounding the team occurs, Ted Thompson and Co. like to get as far away from it as possible.  This is completely understandable due to how much of a distraction a huge legal battle can distract the rest of the team from focusing on next Sunday’s game.

I don’t think that the Packers will completely wash their hands of Hargrove and simply replace him, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Hargrove spend the majority of the season on the bench after his suspension.  The Packers’ front office could let Hargrove contribute in a backup role, and give him the opportunity to fight for a starting spot come the following offseason.

The good news for the Packers is that they drafted two defensive lineman during the 2012 NFL draft.  Both Jerel Worthy and Mike Daniels will now get a great opportunity to get on the field as rookies.  Worthy may even be talented enough to fight for a starting spot opposite Ryan Pickett on the defensive line.

The Hargrove suspension will be one to watch closely in the upcoming weeks, as it isn’t likely to go away anytime soon.

  • tlvincent4

    I was waiting for this shoe to drop, wow half the year, I was expecting maybe 4 games, Goodell dropping the hammer!

    • Matthew J Stein

      Yeah, pretty surprising amount.

  • Thomas Hobbes

    I’m not all that surprised, Goodell had to cripple the Saints this year, can you imagine if the Saints went to the Super Bowl?

    • Matthew J Stein

      Well, the Saints brought in Curtis Lofton to replace Vilma and have capable guys elsewhere, so they might not drop off in production too much anyways. Hurts the Packers and other teams more than the Saints in my opinion.

  • Tarynfor12

    I would suspect that Goodell had to make all Owners and GMs aware of who the players were at the top of the list that would likely be punished to a degree of suspension.
    This would only be fair so each team can chose whether or not to pursue any/all or none of them.Thus giving each a roll of the dice.
    With that,I would venture TT rolled the dice on a 4 game suspension and got twice what he hoped for.
    Would it not have been totally unfair then to even allow these players to enter FA without a Buyer Beware tag attached.
    This would be like the Lemon Law with cars…you must tell the prospective buyer what was wrong and the possible problem down the road as to cost.

    Actually,this just re-inforces by sentiment as to FA…DON’T DO IT.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      Innocent until proven guilty. Also it didn’t cost Thompson anything since Hargrove was making the veteran minimum with no bonus so cutting him does not change the cap in anyway. Actually I think its a pretty smart bet by Thompson, I’m sure he used the issue of being suspended as a pushing point in negotiations; he can argue that no team is going to risk paying Hargrove much when he might get suspended and that his best shot is to sign a minimum contract with no guarantees with the Packers since at least there is a shot of them going far in the playoffs. If Hargrove does get hit with a suspension, then no big deal, Hargrove can sit out the suspension and not count towards the 53 and at the end of the suspension Thompson can cut him at no loss if he wants. If Thompson sees that the D-line isn’t going anywhere by week 8 maybe he brings him back.

      • Tarynfor12

        “Innocent until proven guilty”…..
        The NFL is a self governing body when it is dealing with ‘on field issues’and this being that,the verdict was in the moment the story hit the public.The only thing that takes place as in the outside court system is and was the sentencing done at a later date.
        The appeal will not include an ouside arbitor for the players,simply facing the same court of Goodell as was the case with Payton etc.
        A reduced sentence possibly but an acquittal…never and I’m happy Goodell stands his ground.
        Goodell may bend but he won’t break.

        • Thomas Hobbes

          Well the players do have one advantage over the coaches which is that they are represented by the NFLPA, which is considerably stronger than the coaches union (I have no idea if there is a GM union). The NFLPA is probably looking into litigation, so it makes sense that the NFL operate in a manner similar to an actual trial since it will translate when the real litigation occurs

  • Wagszilla

    8 games is fine. Keep him on the roster.

  • http://PigskinPaul.com Pigskin Paul

    At worst he’ll be a well rested angry young man when he can finally play. Watch for many of the peanlties to be reduced. I think D-SMITH is itching for a post CBA showdown, and this could be it.

  • Ron LC

    GB signed him at league minimums and no up front payments. That alone should tell everyone GB fully expected this to come down. Might have thougt it would be 4 not 8. He’ll come back in the bye weeks with fresh legs and they can use him to change up the style they played for the first half of the season. Not a real big deal for the Packers.

    If anyone thinks D Smith will accomplish anything, you’re kidding yourself. Events like the Jr. Seau suicide today and the Atlanta vet a couple of weeks ago, along with the pending lawsuits will allow Goodel to come down with severe penalties that ensure it is never going to happen again. Add to that D Smith and his family are being investigated by Federal proseccutors for business abnormalities. His position is tenuous at best.

  • Savage57

    Nice balance of perspective. Easy to just let this guy play it out in camp (allowed?), then sit his 8 and have an angry, anxious body ready to play.

    Question I have for Goodell is how much further is he going to go in “gentrifying” the NFL? As Vic over at the Packers site likes to say, ‘it’s a tough game for tough guys’.

    • Ron LC

      Unforunately Savage, the future of the NFL is rapidly falling into the hands of the contingency lawyer scum. Goodell will only get more averse to injury than he is now. I don’t like to think about what the game will look like in 5 years.

      I have this vision of AR running around with two flags attached to his hips. Ridiculous? If the Old NFL players win their suit, there will be more dramatic restrictions designed to prevent injury. And it will obviously impact the quality of the game.

      One more part of life in the hands of the blood-sucking, ambulance chasing, genetically mutant,lawyer scum.

      • Steve Cheez

        How do really feel, Ron?

  • Rick Racic

    His suspension was anticipated and will not impact the money side of the equation. By all accounts and according to Mike Trgovac, Hargrove has been a very positive contributor to the scene. He may be a good addition down the stretch – IF – he comes out ready to go.

  • alex parkhurst

    Hargrove was one of the instigators of this repulsive system at N.O. He represents my team, the Packers. I have been a fan since 1950’s. TT should let this clown go. I’d rather lose without him than win with him.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      One thing I do wonder is how much of his suspension is due to him “obstructing justice” and how much of it is due to offering money to injure other players. If it’s more of the former, then in a twisted way it could that he’s a team player and he doesn’t want to rat out his teammates.

  • Shavager

    I agree with Parkhurst, Thompson/McCarthy want players that fit TEAM mentality–Hargrove has shown selfish intent with deliberately intent to injure opponents FOR MONEY. He doesn’t belong on any team that Packers have ever had, can’t sacrifice TEAM goals, TEAM unity, TEAM philosophy for a player focused on “ME”, CUT HIM, give his opportunity to a player willing to fit coaches/management style.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      I’d say give him a chance before you cut him loose; Charles Woodson was a douche bag in Oakland by all accounts, but look what happened to him. Obviously Woodson never got into a mess as big as this, but everyone makes mistakes and if a guy is repentant and willing to work hard to get back why not give him a shot?

  • Savage57

    After having a chance to think about this for a while I think that Hargrove will be available to the Packers for the entire season. This is going to be the 1st DeSmith/Goodell labor vs. management fight post CBA, and both sides are going to dig in for a long, protracted legal fight with a judge ruling, as in the Starcaps case, that the players can play while the issues are considered under the appeal.

    Not only was TT aware of the possibility of Hargrove’s suspension when he signed him, he was probably betting on it playing out over a lenghty appeals process with Hargrove available throughout it.