A day after reports of his DUI arrest became public, quarterback Josh Portis was waived by the Seahawks.
Portis, who took part in Monday’s organized team activities, was in his second stint with the Seahawks, competing for the backup job with Brady Quinn and Jerrod Johnson. Portis signed with Seattle as an undrafted rookie in 2011 and spent that season on the 53-man roster.
He spent most of last season on Seattle’s practice squad before being released in November.
Portis was re-signed by Seattle in April following the trade that sent backup quarterback Matt Flynn to Oakland.
Even without his recent arrest, Portis likely would have had a tough time beating out both the veteran Quinn, as well as Johnson, who impressed at the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp earlier this month, for the backup job. So while Portis’ legal troubles no doubt expedited the process, he was far from a sure thing to make the team come September.
Portis was arrested on May 5 for suspicion of driving under the influence after being pulled over for speeding on I-90. He is scheduled to be arraigned in King County District Court on May 28.
News of Portis’ arrest came just days after the NFL announced that last year’s first-round pick Bruce Irvin has been suspended four games for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs.
And if you’re wondering why Portis is getting the axe while Pete Carroll said they plan on supporting Irvin, there are a couple of answers. For starters, like it or not, not all players are treated equally, and a team might view a star who has gotten into trouble as being worth the headache, while a third-stringer who may not make the team anyway, fair or not, might not get as long a leash.
And more importantly in the cases of Portis and Irvin, teams can’t discipline players on top of league punishment for PED violations, as is stated in article 42, section 6 of the collective bargaining agreement, which reads, “No Club may impose any discipline against a player, including but not limited to terminating the player’s Player Contract, as a result of that Player’s violation of the Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances or the NFL Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse, or for failing any drug test, provided, however, that the fact that a player has violated the Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances or the NFL Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse, or has failed a drug test will not preclude the termination of his Player Contract if such termination is otherwise expressly permissible under this Agreement or the player’s Player Contract.”
In other words, a player can’t be fined, suspended, or have his contract terminated for PED violations. Teams can cut a player following a suspension, but if that player has a long-term contract with guaranteed money, as is the case with Irvin, the team would still be on the hook for that contract.