Posted: 7:45 a.m.
ThurmanOdell Thurman's representatives say he plans to file an appeal through the NFL Players Association early next week in a bid to at least reduce NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's extension of Thurman's suspension for another year.
The process starts early next week with attorney John Michels sending a letter to the NFLPA requesting that it argue the grievance and it then has 30 days to decide if it will take the case.
"It's a difficult appeal," said Michels on Friday night. "The first tier is to convince the NFLPA and then it would go to the commissioner and he made the original decision."
Michels plans to draw up a letter this weekend, have Thurman read it Monday, and then send it to the union.
"We've got the backing of the team and the appeal should be received Monday," said Safarrah Lawson, who has known Thurman for several years. "We feel like he has complied with the guidelines set down by the league. He hasn't had a positive test. He's been clean and they can test him up to 10 times a month."
"He's extremely disappointed," said Lawson of Thurman. "He was where he had to be whenever he had to be there."
Goodell has a mixed record on his recent appeals. Pacman Jones withdrew his appeal of his one-year suspension for violations of the conduct policy after meeting with the commissioner. Two weeks ago Goodell reduced Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen's four-game suspension to two for two DUIs.
Michels takes heart in the Allen case, but is cautious.
"It's not that similar because they were in different stages of the substance abuse program," said Michels of a program in which Thurman was ahead of Allen in Stage Three. "But it is something we can look at. We're just surprised at what happened, and we hope we can get them to look at some things."
HallHALL OUT: No. 1 pick Leon Hall is the only draft pick missing, but it's unclear what is hanging it up although indications are the two sides aren't close. Agents Mike Sullivan and Doug Hendrickson did complete a deal for No. 12 Marshawn Lynch in Buffalo on Friday, but that had no impact on the Hall talks at No. 18.
They may be waiting for Nos. 17 and 19 to see how they are dealing with certain issues, and the Titans reached a deal with No. 19 Michael Griffin on Friday night. Also, the 16th pick is in, according to profootballtalk.com with Justin Harrell getting a deal in Green Bay.
PLAY OF THE DAY: With Hall out and Johnathan Joseph in the last days of his rehab for a broken bone in his foot, Deltha O'Neal and Keiwan Ratliff are the No. 1 corners.
On Friday's first pass of 11-on-11, Ratliff got inside position on wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh and picked off a go route that Carson Palmer underthrew.
"That's a daily occurence, me picking off Carson," said a smiling Ratliff with Palmer clearly in ear shot.
When Palmer left, Ratliff admitted, "Yeah, it means something to make a play like that against Carson. The guy's one of the highest -paid players in the league. It feels good to get it out of the way early. It's nice to have one and you don't feel that pressure."