CINCINNATI (AP) - Former Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry
has been suspended by the NFL pending the outcome of his trial
later this month, his agent said Friday.
The Bengals released Henry on April 3 after he was arrested for
the fifth time. Henry is scheduled for trial June 24 in Hamilton
County Common Pleas Court on charges of assault and criminal
damaging. A man accused Henry of punching him in the face and
breaking his car window with a beer bottle.
Henry had received permission from the judge to try out with
other NFL teams. Commissioner Roger Goodell has blocked him from
doing so until his case is heard, agent Marvin Frazier said. If
Henry is acquitted, the suspension could be lifted, Frazier said.
If Henry is convicted, he faces at least a one-season suspension
under the league's conduct policy. Henry was suspended for the
first eight games last season for violating the policy, his second
suspension from the league during his three-year career.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello didn't immediately respond to a
request for comment.
Henry has been arrested five times since the Bengals made him a
third-round draft pick out of West Virginia in 2005. His misconduct
was one of the factors that prompted Goodell to tighten the
league's policies last year and strengthen its punishment for
players who get in trouble with the law.
Henry is the second former Bengal player trying to get back into
the NFL with another team following a series of suspensions.
Linebacker Odell Thurman, a second-round pick in 2005, was
suspended earlier this month for the 2008 season after violating
the league's substance abuse policy again.
Thurman sat out the last two seasons after skipping a drug test
and getting arrested for drunken driving. He was reinstated by the
league in April, but the Bengals released him last month after he
skipped a series of voluntary workouts. Then, he was suspended
again by the league.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)