Paperwork delaying decision on Titans cornerback's appeal

AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A decision on Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones' appeal for leniency from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be delayed while attorneys summarize their arguments in writing.

The commissioner then will review the briefs summing up the legal points and testimony from the appeal hearing before deciding whether to ease Jones' season-long NFL suspension. The decision would come no sooner than May 21, two people close to the case said.

The two familiar with the new paperwork spoke on condition of anonymity because Goodell has asked those involved not to speak about the pending appeal. Jones and his attorneys spent nearly four hours Friday arguing that the first defensive player taken in the 2005 draft deserved a lighter punishment than missing the 2007 season.

They cited at least 280 other NFL players arrested or charged since January 2000 without being suspended for 16 games, and attorneys representing the NFLPA also argued for Jones at the hearing.

Goodell punished Jones and Cincinnati receiver Chris Henry last month for conduct detrimental to the league. The NFL announced the suspensions a week after hearings with the commissioner.

Henry was suspended for eight games, although Jones' suspension included a review after the Titans' 10th game. Jones has not been convicted of any charges but has been interviewed by police 10 times and been arrested five times since being drafted. Attorney Manny Arora did not return messages left by The Associated Press on Monday, but attorney Mark Trigg of Atlanta declined to comment.

"The commissioner asked that we not speak publicly about the hearing until he makes his decision, and we're going to honor his request," Trigg said.

Paperwork filed with the NFL on May 1 in Jones' appeal reserved his right to sue the league if unhappy with the final decision from the same man who punished him last month.

If Jones chooses to sue the league, he would be on his own with no support from the players' union. "The procedure for appealing this type of discipline by the commissioner is set forth in the CBA (collective bargaining agreement)," NFLPA spokesman Carl Francis said of the collective bargaining agreement.

Francis said that means the union cannot challenge legally what members agreed to as part of their labor agreement.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)