ESPN’s John Clayton gives Clay Matthews his New Vote : Packers Insider

ESPN’s John Clayton gives Clay Matthews his New Vote

May 14, 2010 by  
Filed under News

May 15, 2010 ~ By John Clayton, ESPN

~After debating the topic for two days, I decided to rescind my Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year vote for Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing and give it to Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews.

Clay Matthews picked up votes from Bob Costas and John Clayton, Peter King as well. Sadly, many oClay Matthews picked up votes from Bob Costas and John Clayton, Peter King as well. But many other voters decided to send a message to the youth of America that taking steroids is acceptable.

ther voters decided to send a message to the youth of America that taking steroids is acceptable.

The reality is Cushing’s 16-game season in 2009 should have been 12
games because he failed a random drug test. (HCG, a masking agent, was found in his system.) Yet, despite being suspended for four games, Cushing won a revote on Wednesday and will keep the DROY award.

For days, I’ve been hoping Cushing would fess up to his charges. Since Friday, when the NFL announced his four-game suspension for the upcoming season, Cushing has failed in every opportunity. On Saturday, he came out with a weak statement saying he presented a good case in his defense but lost his appeal. Then came a slew of even weaker excuses. He claimed his failed test involved a nonsteroid and he didn’t fail a test throughout the remainder of the season.

What we didn’t see, hear or read was Cushing’s standing up against his charges and being accountable. As one of the 50 AP voters, I would be cheating three other viable candidates — Matthews, Brian Orakpo and Jairus Byrd — if I didn’t take into account the fact that Cushing should have missed four games last season. The only reason he played the full season was because the appeals process lingered until February instead of being finalized during the season.

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