Tag Archives: Weslye
The Steelers made a roster move Friday, as the team released tight end Weslye Saunders, the same day he returns to the team after he served his four-game NFL suspension for taking a banned substance Rookie TE David Paulson had been playing well enough in the teams eyes to make Saunders expendable. The roster now [...]...
Source: Steelers Gab
The Steelers have released tight end Weslye Saunders, it was announced today. Saunders, a second-year undrafted free agent out of South Carolina, was suspended for the first four games of this sea......
Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : News
I was surprised Friday when it was announced that second-year tight end Weslye Saunders was released and that move has left many, including myself, wondering what the reasoning was behind the decision.
It has been suggested by a few that the play of veteran tight end Leonard Pope, specifically one block, in the Steelers 26-23 loss to the Tennessee...
Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers
Coach Mike Tomlin may not be the only Steelers employee to get a new contract on Tuesday. He also may not be the only Steelers employee named “Mike” to get a new contract on Tuesday. Tight end Weslye Saunders has congratulated receiver Mike Wallace on a new contract via a Twitter message. Saunders later tried…
PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Steelers tight end Weslye Saunders will be forced to sit out the first four games of 2012, as the NFL suspended the rookie four games for violating its policy on performance enhancing substances.
Saunders can take part in all preseason games and practices up until his suspension begins Sept. 1.
Saunders made the Steelers roster as an undrafted rookie free agent out of South Carolina. He caught four passes for 29 yards and a touchdown for Pittsburgh in 2011.
Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers
It was reported earlier Tuesday TE Weslye Saunders will be suspended for the first four games of the 2012 season, but without confirmation of whether it was for the league's substance abuse policy (drugs, narcotics, etc) or the league's steroid and related substances policy (HGH, anabolic steroids, etc.).
There are at least two writers suggesting Saunders' alleged positive test came not from PEDs or drugs, but rather, a therapeutic drug in which contained an ingredient on the league's list of banned substances.
Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweeted Tuesday he had information regarding the suspension, and suggested a suspension may be out of line.
Fellow Tribune-Review writer Mark Kaboly had a pair of tweets along the same lines, but much more aggressively.
Kaboly's second tweet, coming soon after the first, was far more revealing.
The NFL has run into this issue in the past, and with a player currently on the Steelers roster.
As Georgia Tech running back Jonathan Dwyer prepared for the draft in 2010, his agent, Robert London, notified every NFL team his client took Adderall, a medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which is amphetamine salts. London told teams Dwyer's drug test would come back positive for amphetamines.
As he suggested, Dwyer's test came back positive. Instead of concealing that information as a therapeutic exemption, which the league considers it to be, provided the player has the proper prescriptions for the medication (which is a Schedule II Controlled Substance in the United States, meaning you cannot possess it without a prescription, and that prescription must be hand-written from a doctor), the information somehow made its way into the public.
Dwyer's failed test came in the same report and was released to the media in the same way as former USC TE Anthony Davis, who tested positive for marijuana.
Dwyer was thought to be as high as a second-round draft pick in 2010. He fell to the sixth round. Perhaps that wasn't because of the drug test (his weight was more of a concern at The Combine that year), but the negative attention brought to him certainly didn't help his situation.
This isn't to suggest the NFL's anti-drug rules are inappropriate. It's the idea it is in the position to potentially and powerfully damage the lives of innocent people. The league should be candidly aware of the amount of media coverage it receives and with that, it has a responsibility to ensure privacy of those matters to the highest level of its ability. He took the appropriate steps to inform the league of the medication he was prescribed, and notified them his drug test would come back positive for amphetamines. The league failed Dwyer, if not from a legal sense, then from an ethical one.
Kaboly and Kovacevic are strongly suggesting Saunders' case is very similar, if not the same. It's highly unlikely they would go as far as they did if Saunders had tested positive for something illegal. Plus, amphetamines are covered under the league's substance abuse policy, which would mean a suspension would be warranted in the event of a third failed drug test by Saunders.
Perhaps the information regarding his suspension was prematurely released from a veteran reporter (Aaron Wilson) who reported Saunders would be suspended. As we've written, a player can be suspended for four games (the amount of time Wilson reported) for violating the league's substance abuse policy for a third time, or for a first violation of the league's policy on steroids and related substances policy.
If it's a therapeutic drug, and this is indeed Saunders' third failed drug test (taking Wilson's information as accurate), it suggests a lack of communication between the league and Saunders, or a simple situation where the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.
The substance Saunders allegedly tested positive for won't formally be released to the public, we can only look at situations like Dwyer's when we read such compelling but intentionally vague information from two beat reporters.
All of this suggests there is something boiling under the surface, and perhaps Saunders has something of a battle ahead of him.
Source: Behind the Steel Curtain
There is no word on the reason for the suspension, but it's likely for one of two things: a third violation of the league's substance abuse police (two prior violations are confidential, the third results in a four-game suspension), or a violation of the league's policy on anabolic steroids and related substances, in which a first offense is subject to a minimum four-game suspension.
Simply put, it's either his third failed drug test or his first failed banned substances test. Either way, it'll be his first suspension, and the first Steeler to be suspended for either violation.
Saunders, a talented but troubled tight end, went undrafted in 2011 largely due to the problems he stirred up off the field. He was suspended for a game by South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier for what he called a violation of team rules. Spurrier stressed it had nothing to do with an NCAA investigation into Saunders' attendance at a party which was later found to be promoted by an NFL agent.
Saunders eventually missed the entire 2010 season amid the NCAA investigation and his draft stock plummeted.
He hadn't been connected to any off-the-field issues through his rookie season publicly, and was seen as a young player on the rise. He is expected to make a bigger impact on the team's offense this season, but this suspension will push him back quite a bit, possibly leading the Steelers to re-consider the chance they gave Saunders as a UDFA last season.
Former Steelers WR Santonio Holmes was suspended for four games, but was traded to the Jets before that suspension took place. Holmes was also suspended for a game in 2008 by the Steelers, not the league, following a marijuana possession arrest.
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for six games (with it reduced later to four games) for conduct detrimental to the league, and LB James Harrison was suspended for a game in 2011 for a helmet-to-helmet hit onBrowns QB Colt McCoy.
Source: Behind the Steel Curtain