It is common belief that Terrelle Pryor was suspended five games by the NFL because of his miss steps at Ohio State. This is simply untrue. Terrelle Pryor was suspended five games for not following the rules of the supplemental draft entry process.
Pryor hired Drew Rosenhaus before he was ruled ineligible for the first five games at Ohio State. Based on the rules of the supplemental draft Pryor should have been ineligible for entry.
The power of the media and his agent put the league in a tough position. Instead of doing what they should have done and forced Pryor to sit for a year, the NFL allowed his entry while trying to appear tough.
There are basically two arguments Pryor will be able to make to get the suspension lifted.
1) The NFL is punishing Pryor because they chose to not follow their own rules. There is no precedent or rule that allows for any such suspension.
2) The five-game suspension is the NFL is punishing Pryor for his college mistakes. This is also unprecedented.
The NFL should have forced Pryor to sit out the season. They didn’t and punished Pryor for making an exception. The five game suspension was intentionally the same number of games as his college suspension to hide the fact that the NFL really should not have allowed his entry at all.
This was a major mistake by the NFL. Now the NFL has a player who should have never been drafted with a NFL contract.
Why is this important? When Mike Williams and Maurice Clarett tried to gain entry into the draft the NFL would not budge. The players fought through the courts unsuccessfully to gain entry.
Players in the future will now be able to leverage this situation into allowing their entry into the draft. If the NFL denies their entry it will put the league at risk of losing a court case with unknown and potentially far-reaching consequences.
To mitigate the risk of any such court case the NFL will now lift Pryor’s suspension and say to the world that they were wrong to suspend Pryor for his college conduct even though that is not the reason he was suspended.
If the NFL chooses to stand tough on the issue they will likely lose in arbitration and re-open the can of worms.
It is now to the league’s benefit to lift the suspension and move on and that is just what they will do.