The NFL has handed free agent defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman a six-week suspension as a result of a March 2016 domestic violence arrest, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter). Hageman faced misdemeanor charges of battery, cruelty to children, and interfering with calls for emergency assistance on the heels of his arrest, and the league began investigating him in September 2016.
Although Hageman escaped serious legal punishment, his off-field issues led the Falcons to part with him on Sept. 4. At that point, the league placed the 27-year-old on the commissioner’s exempt list as it continued its investigation.
“Really as an organization, we weren’t comfortable with where things were,” head coach Dan Quinn said after the Falcons cut Hageman (via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com). “As you know, it’s an ongoing investigation through the league, so I won’t comment much further past that.”
Hageman was someone the Falcons had high hopes for before he forced them to move on from him. Atlanta used the 37th selection in the 2014 draft on the ex-Minnesota standout, and its coaching staff was reportedly enamored of him this past offseason. All told, Hageman appeared in 44 of the Falcons’ 48 regular-season games and combined for 15 starts during his three-year tenure with the club. The majority of his work came in 2015, when he tallied career highs in starts (11), defensive snaps (419) and tackles (27).
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