Recently, I published an article about Baltimore Ravens’ safety Asa Jackson in belief that his days of violating the NFL’s policy against Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) were far behind him. Apparently, Jackson read the article and decided to prove me wrong. The two-year veteran has now received a clear message from the NFL that repeated violation of their PED policy will not be tolerated.
The NFL handed down an eight-game suspension because it is Jackson’s second offense. I’m all about second chances as most NFL teams are, but the question remains: is Jackson worth all of this attention to a football club? The only news that generated under his name previously was the last violation and suspension. It’s hard to believe in a player when they have a shady past or character issues.
Jackson had me as well as the Ravens convinced he was a standout player who had made a mistake. Once is a mistake; twice is a trend. The belief that Jackson still has talent without the drugs is still there. Ozzie Newsome nor John Harbaugh would have allowed him into camp if they thought otherwise. They too side with the NFL and their decision to suspend Jackson.
I get that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and that players want an edge on the competition; however, I believe it is the players who fail to recognize that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that end up making these types of decisions. Once your name is out there in a negative way, it is very hard to get that stigma off of you, which makes it slightly difficult to find a job. Chad Johnson is a perfect example of that. Sure, Johnson is a hardworking wide receiver and he still has some wheels on him, but all general managers can see is his mouth and the incident involving his now ex-wife and an alleged headbutt.
Once Jackson’s suspension is over, the Ravens will need to decide, “is the juice worth the squeeze?” Jackson sure hopes so. I guess we will have to wait until Week 9 to find out.