A four game suspension for testing positive for P.E.D.'s is not what any of us want to hear relating to an Oakland Raider. Unfortunately it is exactly what we found out today happened when the NFL handed out that punishment to Raiders wide receiver Andre Holmes.
If this had to happen at least it was relating to a player that is hardly heard of by many and was far from guaranteed to make the opening day roster. In fact, ironically Andre Holmes chances of making the Raiders roster in 2013 may in fact have increased after this suspension happened. Sounds crazy, but it very well might be true.
As stated before Holmes is hardly guaranteed to make the roster, but he is in competition for a spot. He is competing with players like Conner Vernon, Brice Butler and Sam McGuffie to win one of the final WR spots on the roster even though he isn't a favorite in the competition. Now with the suspension he may just get a little bit more time for the Raiders to decide what to do with him even if he doesn't win the competition out of camp.
The reason he might end up getting that extra time is because while he is suspended he won't count against the active roster but he is still allowed to take part with the team until Week 1. That means that if the Raiders want to hold onto him just in case of an injury or if the player who does win the competition out of camp struggles they can. He won't cause the Raiders to cut somebody to be able to keep Andre for that time since he wont count against the 54 man roster til the suspension is over anyway.
That isn't to say that this will be the Raiders way of handling Holmes now but it is an option. If they like him they won't have to move on from him even if somebody out plays him, but if they don't like what he is showing them they certainly can move on at any time.
Andre has put out a statement regarding the situation. In it he has a perceivable explanation that he was sick during the time of the tainted test and that he unknowningly digested a banned substance. It very well could be true, or it could be a handy excuse that he has come up with. You can make your own opinion on the statement that was obtained by NFL.com's Ian Rappaport.
"When I received a letter from the NFL stating that I tested positive for amphetamine, which is banned under the NFL performance enhancing substances policy during an off-season test in April, I was very surprised as I know that I did not take any banned substances," Holmes said. "I know that I had been quite ill when I was tested in early April, as I reported to the sample collector at the time my sample was given, so I thought one of the medications I was taking was responsible.
"However, to this day, even after further testing, I do not know how the substance got into my system. The drug policy rules are very strict with a zero tolerance, so after consulting with the NFLPA (NFL Players Association) and reviewing the medical documentation, I will not appeal the discipline. During training camp and preseason I will work extremely hard, and I will continue to work intensely so that I'm ready to contribute the minute I am back. I sincerely apologize to my teammates, coaches and Raiders fans for this situation."
It will be interesting to see what the Raiders decide to do with the 6'4 WR now that Andre has decided not to fight the failed test. If he is talented enough during training camp and the preseason then the Raiders might still keep him. If not then they will move on from a player that now has a black mark on his permanent record.