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Tom Brady

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Before Tom Brady’s surprising “deflategate” suspension announced this week, the National Football League has suspended other players for behaving badly on and off the field.

On Monday, the National Football League suspended the New England Patriots quarterback for four games without pay after finding that the team used deflated footballs to gain an advantage in the 2014 playoffs against the Indianapolis Colts, according to CNN.

The Patriots were also fined $1 million and will forfeit its first-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft and fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft, league officials announced Monday.

But this is not the first time the league or its players have faced intense scrutiny. Here are some of the league’s biggest hits.


Ndamukong Suh

Detroit Lions defensive tackle was suspended for one-game in December for stepping on Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers during his team’s loss to the Packers, according to the NFL. But an appeals officer reduced the suspension to a $70,000 fine after Suh, considered one of the most aggressive players in the league, won an appeal. Suh was considered a first-time offender by the repeat offender policy, which was modified in 2014. In November 2013, he was fined $7,875 for making a throat-slashing gesture toward the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Richie Incognito

The ex-Miami Dolphins guard was suspended Nov. 3, 2013 after allegations of racism and bullying by teammate Jonathan Martin. But three months and one day later, the league lifted the suspension based on a technicality. He is now a guard with the Buffalo Bills.

New Orleans Saints “Bountygate”

We’re certain New Orleans Saints fans are unhappy with Tom Brady’s “deflategate” suspension after their team’s “bountygate” scandal. Back in 2009, after the New Orleans Saints defeated the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game, Vikings coach Brad Childress accused the team of putting a bounty on Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre in an effort to injure and sideline him, according to The Guardian. Saints defensive tackle Remi Ayodele and defensive end Bobby McCray were accused of hitting Favre in a particularly brutal fashion, the report says, sending the 40-year-old to the sideline with an ankle injury.

Although Favre returned later, he spent the rest of the game nursing his ankle, and the Vikings lost to the Saints in overtime. The Saints went on to the Super Bowl, where they won the team’s first ever championship.

A tipster prompted the league to investigate the Saints and found that the coach and players pooled their money, and awarded cash prizes to players who injured select members of the opposing team. As a result, The Guardian writes, head coach Sean Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season, Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was handed an indefinite suspension, assistant coach Joe Vitt received a six-game ban, linebacker Jonathan Vilma was given a one-season suspension, defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove received eight games, defensive end Will Smith four, and linebacker Scott Fujita three.


Darren Sharper

The former New Orleans Saints safety was sentenced to nine years in prison in March after confessing to multiple cases of raping and drugging women in several states over nine years.

Adrian Peterson

The Minnesota Vikings running back was indefinitely suspended on Nov. 18, 2014 after allegations of child abuse involving his 4-year-old son. He was reinstated in February 2015 after the players’ union argued that the NFL’s arbitrator exceeded his authority by suspending Peterson.

Ray Rice

After making headlines last year for hitting his then-fiancée Janay Palmer unconscious in an elevator in what became known as “elevatorgate,” the ex-Baltimore Ravens running back was indefinitely suspended on September 8, 2014. The suspension was lifted two months later after he appealed the decision, but the free agent is still without a team.

Mike Vick

The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback on July 27, 2007 was banned for the entire 2007 and 2008 season for his involvement in a dog fighting ring. After that, he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009, where he stayed for four years and in 2014, he signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the New York Jets.



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TIMEOUT: Do You Remember These NFL Suspensions?  was originally published on