The Associated Press is considering a re-vote for its 2009 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award because the winner, Texans linebacker Brian Cushing, has been suspended for four games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
Naturally, people are wondering how the voters will react if that's the case. As one of the 50 voters and one of the 39 who voted for Cushing, I'll wait to hear from the Associated Press before I commit to anything.
UPDATE: There will be a re-vote on the defensive rookie of the year and for All-Pro at OLB. Cushing did not earn All-Pro honors, finishing a distant third behind Elvis Dumervil and DeMarcus Ware. Cushing is on the new ballot, which must be turned in by noon Wednesday.
Frankly, the whole situation leaves more questions than answers. For starters, if Cushing tested positive in September, as ESPN has reported, why was he allowed to PLAY THE ENTIRE SEASON before reportedly being informed of the positive test in February? If, for whatever reasons, the league couldn't see fit to suspend him during the season in which he tested positive, should we as voters be considering a do-over?Cushing appealed the decision in February and was told this month that he'd lost his appeal.
Forget the AP award for a moment. If I'm one of the nine teams that lost to the Texans last year, I'd want to know why one of the league's best tacklers wasn't suspended during the 2009 season if he was caught cheating during the 2009 season. Why did the process take so long? Why did it take from September until May to get from positive test to an appeal being denied? Seems to me if we want to catch the cheaters, we catch em in September, announce EXACTLY what they tested positive for in September and punish them ASAP after the appeals process.
I'd also like to know what Cushing tested positive for and the circumstances. Maybe it's the whole StarCaps fiasco that makes me question the degrees to which testing positive for a performance enhancer actually enhances one's performance, or just makes them pee more.
Cushing said in a statement that the substance was "non-steroidal." Who knows if he's telling the truth. Players lie. People lie. But I also don't want to assume he's lying simply because there are so many rumors saying Cushing has been taking steroids for years. Yes, believe it or not, sometimes a rumor isn't based on fact.
The league could help us out by announcing the banned substance that Cushing tested positive for, when he tested positive and why he was allowed to continue playing. I'd really like an answer to that last one before deciding whether to take away his rookie of the year award. Why the league thought it was OK for him to keep playing would help me determine whether it was OK to give him an award for the way he played.
Bills safety Jairus Byrd finished second with six votes. He would have been my second choice. Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (three) and Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo (two) also received votes.