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Tank Parked For Eight Games

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jun 5, 2007 2:34PM

2007_06_sports_tankjohnson_suspension.jpgWith NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's crackdown on players' bad bahavior off the field, we knew this announcement was coming for Tank Johnson -- we just didn't know the length of the suspension the commish would hand down. Three weeks after being released from jail and having his sit-down with Goodell, the league announced that Tank Johnson will miss the first eight games of the 2007 season as punishment for his numerous arrests for guns violations and probation violations. By meeting a number of conditions, it is possible for the suspension to be cut to six games.

While unable to play for the first six or eight regular season games, Johnson can participate in off-season practices, training camp and even play in the preseason games. However, he won't be collecting a paycheck until he returns to the field on Sundays -- meaning a $180,000 reduction in his 2007 tax returns.

Tank took the news like a man, stating at a press conference Monday,

It's not my call to say it's fair or unfair but Roger Goodell's a fair man, I know that. He took everything in consideration that he and I talked about. If [his decision] is in the best interests of the NFL then I'm all for it too.

Johnson's sure tried to sell everybody on the fact he's a changed man since his release from jail. Upon leaving Cook Country Jail, he told the media, "One day I want to be the face of the league for guys who have come through adversity and ultimately become the Man of the Year in the NFL."

Chicagoist would love to see Tank follow through with that, but we'd settle for him staying out of trouble enough just to get back on the field two weeks early. Probably more of an incentive for Tank than trying to win Man of the Year, however, is the $60,000 he earn in those two games if he can play.

As for the Bears, they'll certainly be short handed in the middle of their defensive line without Tank. Tommie Harris, while a star, is returning from a severe injury. So is Dusty Dvoracek, who missed his entire rookie season. Then there's free agent Anthony Adams and backups like Antonio Garay. Things could get mighty ugly in week one against LaDainian Tomlinson. On the other hand, getting a fresh Tank Johnson back midway through the season could reenergize the defense as many of the other guys are starting to wear down.

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