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Soward Is Suspended

December 11, 2001|From Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville receiver and former USC standout R. Jay Soward was suspended indefinitely Monday for breaking team rules, making it even less likely the troubled receiver will play for the team again.

Coach Tom Coughlin said the Jaguars were checking with the league and the NFL Players Association to determine how long the team could suspend Soward.

The collective-bargaining agreement says teams may suspend a player for up to four weeks for conduct detrimental to the league. Union spokesman Carl Francis did not immediately return telephone messages left at his office.

Soward, a second-year receiver, hasn't suited up for the Jaguars this season. He was suspended the first 10 games for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

Coughlin made Soward inactive for last Monday's game against Green Bay, then announced a one-game suspension before Sunday's game against the Bengals.

On Monday, the coach made the suspension indefinite.

"I said it would be up to R. Jay," Coughlin said. "The questions were how he was going to do it. He had to prove it over the long term and gain everyone's trust, and that's where we are."

Soward, a first-round draft pick in 2000, signed a five-year deal worth $5.45 million, including a $2-million signing bonus. If the Jaguars waive him, they'll do it in the summer, when they can spread the salary-cap hit for the remaining $1.2 million of the bonus to 2002 and 2003.

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