This whole Mike Neal situation just keeps getting stranger.
Neal was one of the players linked to a drug ring by Al Jazeera’s December PED report. He is also the only player named in that report to have a previous PED suspension. Like then-teammates Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, Neal denied any wrongdoing. However, he was the least convincing of the three.
Fast-forward to the offseason. Neal isn’t re-signed by the Green Bay Packers. He takes a couple free agent visits, but no contract materializes.
It’s now weeks into training camp and Neal remains unsigned.
While he was never more than mediocre with the Packers, here’s a guy that should be on a roster somewhere. Neal did take more snaps than any other outside linebacker on the Packers’ roster last season. So if nothing else, he’s at least a stopgap that you know can stay healthy.
So when the NFL threatened to suspend any of the players named in the investigation who didn’t submit to an interview, it was curious when Neal declined to do so. Especially after Matthews and Peppers both agreed to do so.
It was also curious that while the NFL and NFLPA were fighting over this, the league told the player’s association in a letter that Neal had provided false statements to them.
Or maybe it isn’t curious at all. Maybe Neal is just guilty of taking PEDs and that explains all of this.
Whatever the case might be, Neal has now agreed to speak with the NFL.
According to a source, free-agent RB Mike Neal will consent to be interviewed by the NFL in al-Jazeera matter after all. Changed his mind.
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) August 19, 2016
We full expect Matthews and Peppers to be cleared in this matter. Neal, on the other hand, might just have another suspension coming.