Jets Rumors & News
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New England safety Rodney Harrison has been suspended for four games without pay by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The four-game suspension will cost Harrison $470,588 of his $2 million salary.

Harrison admitted to using HGH, a human growth hormone, in a conference call late Friday night, but denied ever using steriods:

“I want to make it clear,” Harrison said, “that never once did I take steroids. I did admit to the commissioner that I took a banned substance.”

Harrison claims to have taken the HGH only to “accelerate the healing process.”

Harrison, 34, is considered to be one of the league’s most physical safeties and will be missed by the Patriots. This, coupled with the late arrival to camp by Patriots’ cornerback Asante Samuel (who is expected to start), weakens the New England secondary significantly and could open up the passing game for Chad Pennington and his arsenal of receivers.

Harrison will be replaced by James Sanders, listed as the backup on the depth chart as of Thursday.

Give Harrision credit for admitting his mistake and apologizing to anyone and everyone he might have disappointed during his Friday night conference call with reporters:

“I’ve made no excuses and I will not make excuses,” Harrison said. “I sent the wrong message with my actions. This is a mistake and this is something that I’ve done.”

As exciting as it is to think that the Patriots are playing with a backup safety and a cornerback who just reported to camp, keep in mind that Coach Bill Belichick is a defensive genius and famous for not letting an injury or two affect his game plan. Does anyone remember what happened when star QB Drew Bledsoe got injured?

The Jets still have their work cut out for them, but nobody will argue that it just got a tad bit easier with Harrison’s suspension.

Jon Buzby is a nationally-syndicated columnist. He can be reached through his website at www.jonbuzby.com.

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