Can/will Patrick Chung be suspended for being indicted on cocaine charges?

Ryan Hannable
August 22, 2019 - 1:05 pm

On Thursday, it was learned Patriots safety Patrick Chung has been indicted on cocaine charges in New Hampshire.

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The team released a statement which read: "We are aware of the reports regarding Patrick Chung. We will not be commenting while his judicial proceedings take place."

When it comes to a potential suspension, it would be handled by the NFL.

"We will monitor developments in the law enforcement matter," a league spokesman said in an email.

So, what would a suspension look like?

Here is what is in the 2019 policy and program on substance abuse, which is the program of both the NFLPA and NFL.

2.3 Violations of Law Involving Other Substances of Abuse

Apart from and in addition to any other provisions of this Policy, Players convicted of or admitting to a violation of law (including, within the context of a diversionary program, deferred adjudication, disposition of supervision, or similar arrangement including but not limited to nolo contendere) relating to use, possession, acquisition, sale, or distribution of Substances of Abuse other than alcohol, or conspiring to do so, are subject to appropriate discipline as determined by the Commissioner.

Absent aggravating circumstances, discipline for a first offense will be a suspension without pay for up to four (4) regular and/or post-season games. If the Commissioner finds that there were aggravating circumstances, including but not limited to felonious conduct or serious injury or death of third parties, and/or if the Player has had prior drug or alcohol related misconduct, increased discipline may be imposed. Discipline for a second or subsequent offense, absent aggravating circumstances, will be a suspension without pay for a minimum of six (6) up to ten (10) regular and/or post-season games. A Player’s treatment history may be considered by the Commissioner in determining the appropriate level of discipline.

What this all means is if Chung is found to have violated the law in relation to drugs, he can be suspended up to four games even if he's a first-time offender under NFL policy. Some have thought if he was a first-time offender he may avoid suspension.

Chung is scheduled to appear in court next Wednesday.

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