Kiss Your Asa Goodbye? Not so fast!


The Ravens coaches and scouts were shaken by the recent news of Asa Jackson’s second suspension in as many years, allegedly for using Adderall, a drug used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The drug is also widely used in colleges and universities to help students cram for exams. The drug heightens focus and clarity and has been referred to as the “Beautiful Mind” drug by some. It’s been said that some coaches around the NFL take Adderall to heighten their in game focus on the sidelines.

But back to Jackson, according to his agent Kenny Zuckerman who was reached by telephone by our partners at Comcast Sports-Baltimore Friday afternoon, the Ravens corner had obtained a therapeutic use exemption from the league to take Adderall for a medical condition.

The rub for the league is that Jackson had not obtained the exemption before testing positive.

“You got to follow the rules,” Harbaugh said following Friday’s practice. “You don’t follow the rules, you get suspended. That’s a fair rule. There’s no place for that. He’s getting what he deserves.

“As far as what it does to our corner depth, that’s one less corner that we have.”

Fans have cried out for Jackson’s head and want the Ravens to sever ties with the speedster from Cal-Poly who has had a solid camp so far this summer. Perhaps many are jaded by baseball’s issues with PED’s and unfairly lump Jackson in with those abusers.

Jackson has claimed that a doctor who no longer on the Ravens staff, didn’t submit the exemption paperwork to the NFL offices in a timely fashion triggering the new 8-game suspension. While that may be true, ultimately the responsibility falls on Jackson’s shoulders. Not the alleged departed doctor, his agent or anyone else – particularly on the heels of a 4-game suspension last season.

But is it enough to just discard Jackson completely?

Sure it was a careless mistake that could put his career in jeopardy but it’s not hard to see it as an innocent one. It’s not as though he’s been flagged for using other PED’s to bolster his physicality.

So once he does his time, why not wait it out for the 8 weeks, assuming of course Jackson proves he’s worth the wait during the next 4 weeks.

“Time will tell,’’ Harbaugh said. “He doesn’t count against your 53-man roster. What he needs to do is have a good camp, and make us want him back after eight weeks. It will be a big challenge for him. We talked about it quite a bit and he’s up for the challenge.”

We’ll see what Jackson is made of, and if he holds true to his word.

“I sincerely apologize to my teammates, coaches, and Ravens fans. I look forward to working hard in training camp and preseason, training hard during the discipline period and contributing to the team immediately upon my return.”

Given his pedestrian salary by NFL standards ($480,000), nearly half of which will be lost to the suspension, it’s worth waiting on Jackson and to see what kind of player, what kind of man emerges when he’s eligible to return on November 4.

The learning experience coupled with his clearance to use Adderall could be enough to bring greater dedication and more consistency.

The team’s patience may prove to be a small price to pay for a player who has shown explosiveness at times.

Remember, right player, right price!

Should the Ravens give Asa Jackson another chance?
Yes there's little to lose (82%)
No it's time to say goodbye (18%)
This poll has completed. Thank you for voting.
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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

11 Raves on “Kiss Your Asa Goodbye? Not so fast!

  1. Robert Fuse on said:

    Asa is very talented and I could see him becoming a great player. He has big play ability. If I’m on the Raven’s staff, I’d feel very uncomfortable releasing him when there’s a good chance he could break out on another team. Let his play on the field speak for itself. I say one more chance. If he keeps messing up, then let him go. There’s only so many chances a team can give.

  2. HellsBellsVA on said:

    I think an 8 week suspension and an 8 week stint on the practice squad will let the young man think long and hard on whether he wants a carrier in pro football. One time is ALMOST excusable, not 2

  3. paulie on said:

    Maybe I’m wrong Tony, but my understanding was that only the team or their designated representative could submit a request for a waiver or the supporting documentation to the league to obtain that exception.
    If that is so, then it is not Asa who screwed up here. Maybe that’s why we’re not hearing anybody at the Castle threatening to cut him for the “violation”.

  4. Mike Rice on said:

    Maybe it’s too early too cut him given the circumstances but he has certainly out himself in a rough spot. He has to essentially perform like a starter in camp and hope that Harbaugh still needs him at mid season.

  5. Dan on said:

    Agree with previous comment (from VA) that this is a second suspension in consecutive years for PED. So maybe it is a pedestrian reason of not filing paperwork. I would think he, having been suspended previously, would have triple verified (or his agent). There’s always more to the story that we don’t know. But from what you say Tony, why was permission sought after the fact? Perhaps this young man is gullible, naive etc but come on man (Tom Jackson voice). What if though this is a smoke screen and there’s another less juvenile reason. (Again we don’t know all the details.). Is his potential talent worth the Ravens’ efforts of the past several years to clean up the ball club’s image?

    If he’s not cut he might want to bc he’ll be staying in the McGahee suite at the Harbaugh dog house for the remaining 8 games.

  6. Mill on said:

    I agree with Harbs, you have to know and follow the rules. But it’s not like he’s tested positive for hard core stuff. He’s basically being suspended on a technicality. He’s being suspended for taking something that he now has the clearance to take legally because he took it before he got the NFL’s clearance. Him being given an exemption proves that he’s got a real medical condition and a legit reason to be on the meds.

  7. Jake on said:

    Wow. You know, I don’t really know why it is lumped in there with physically enhancing drugs when it will kill your appetite and result in weight loss, including muscle. For many, food actually is sickening to them.
    No one should want to be on adderall. I would also think it must be extremely difficult to play at a pro level and have to use that on a daily basis.
    So, yes, I am thinking someone else dropped the ball on this one, when the team doctors were aware he needed it and they had to submit the paperwork.

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