Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger accepted his six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy yesterday and promised to “comply with what is asked of me — and more.’’
The two-time Super Bowl winner said that while it will be “devastating’’ to miss games, “I will not appeal the suspension and will comply with what is asked of me — and more,’’ he said.
In his first comments since the NFL handed down the penalty last week, Roethlisberger apologized to his teammates and fans for his behavior last month in a Georgia bar, where a 20-year-old college student accused him of sexual assault.
“The commissioner’s decision to suspend me speaks clearly that more is expected of me. I am accountable for the consequences of my actions. Though I have committed no crime, I regret that I have fallen short of the values instilled in me by my family,’’ Roethlisberger said in a statement.
Roethlisberger was cleared of charges, but commissioner Roger Goodell cracked down on one of his biggest stars because “you are held to a higher standard as an NFL player, and there is nothing about your conduct in Milledgeville [Ga.] that can remotely be described as admirable, responsible, or consistent with either the values of the league or the expectations of our fans.’’
“I am sorry to let down my teammates and the entire Steelers fan base. I am disappointed that I have reached this point and will not put myself in this situation again,’’ Roethlisberger said.
Hovan cut loose
Former Boston College defensive lineman Chris Hovan
was among six veterans released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
. Hovan’s future with the team was already in doubt before the Bucs selected defensive tackles Gerald McCoy
and Brian Price
in the first two rounds of the draft. Tampa Bay finished last in the league in run defense in 2009. Also released were offensive lineman Arron Sears
, reserve fullback B.J. Askew
, guard Shawn Murphy
, punter Sam Paulescu
, and cornerback Stoney Woodson
. . . The Jaguars released two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle John Henderson
, opening a starting spot for first-round draft pick Tyson Alualu
. . . The Broncos signed free agent linebacker Akin Ayodele
, who started 15 games for the Dolphins
last season, tallying 70 tackles.
Cruz joins Giants
The Giants signed University of Massachusetts wide receiver Victor Cruz
. Despite starting only two seasons for the Minutemen, Cruz had 131 career receptions and 1,958 receiving yards. He caught 59 passes for 868 yards and five touchdowns last season . . . Harvard left offensive tackle James Williams
signed a free agent deal with the Buccaneers. Other New England collegians agreeing to free agent deals were BC safety Marcellus Bowman
and Maine wide receiver Landis Williams
(both with the Broncos) . . . LeGarrette Blount
, the Oregon running back suspended for punching Boise State DE Byron Hout
last season, agreed to terms with the Titans as an undrafted free agent.
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