Former Cowboys running back Joseph Randle has been suspended without pay for four games by the NFL for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Randle has been a free agent since being cut by Dallas, and this news won’t help him as he attempts to find a new job.
Randle’s four-game ban presumably stems from a February incident in Wichita, Kansas, which saw him arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana after police received a call for an alleged domestic incident involving Randle and the mother of his son. Charges against the 23-year-old were dropped in April, but the NFL continued its own investigation, reportedly meeting with Randle over the summer, and again in October.
Randle, 24 in December, was expected by many to emerge as the leader in the Cowboys’ fractured backfield this season, following the offseason departure of DeMarco Murray. However, with Randle suffering from an injured oblique and dealing with off-field issues, he lost his starting job and eventually his spot on the Cowboys’ roster, having rushed for just 313 yards on 76 attempts in the first half.
Based on a tweet from Ed Werder of ESPN.com this morning, it sounds as if there were teams with interest in Randle, but those clubs were waiting to hear on his potential suspension. Rapoport (Twitter link) had reported a couple weeks back that the running back would likely face a one- or two-game suspension, so potential suitors may be put off by the longer ban.