Waistergate Case Resolved

In one of the strangest cases since Encyclopedia Brown and the Hitched-Up Skirt, the case of Cedric Griffin and his low-riding pants was finally resolved Thursday with no action being taken and no sanction expected from the league's new crackdown policy on player conduct.

One of the stranger criminal complaint cases in recent memory was resolved Thursday in Hennepin County when Vikings cornerback Cedric Griffin's case over wearing low-riding pants.

The incident, which happened at Spin Nightclub in Minneapolis, began when bouncers at Spin saw Griffin coming out of the men's room wearing pants that were too baggy and his boxer shorts were visible. Griffin, who went to the nightclub with two bankers who serve as financial advisers, claimed he was innocent of the charges and that the bouncers escalated the situation quickly, which observers said led to a minor physical confrontation.

Under the agreement reached by both sides, Griffin and his lawyer did not enter a plea. The case will be continued for one year and dismissed if Griffin has no other similar violations during the next 12 months. If he doesn't, the case will be dismissed and won't remain on his permanent record. Griffin was forced to pay $1,000 for the cost of prosecution and agreed not to frequent Spin anymore – a part of the agreement he will likely have no problem with considering how he was felt he was treated in the April incident.

With the resolution of the case and the charges expected to be dropped in one year, it isn't expected that Griffin will face any punishment from Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has been bringing the hammer down on players who violate the league's new conduct policy. For a case many thought was much ado about nothing, it looks as though we will be denied expert testimony about how low is too low for a man's pants.

* You can't accuse Jon Gruden of not hoarding quarterbacks. Not happy with the performance of sixth-round rookie Bruce Gradkowski after starter Chris Simms went down to injury, the Bucs added free agent quarterback Jeff Garcia of the Eagles. Within a couple of weeks, they traded for Jake Plummer, who Gruden recently said he would still be interested in having come out of retirement. So it shouldn't have come as any surprise that Gruden was the first coach to have recently-released Daunte Culpepper in for a visit. No official workout was undertaken, but Gruden seems intent on stockpiling quarterbacks. However, if his offensive line doesn't improve, it wouldn't matter if he had Peyton Manning, Brett Favre or Johnny Unitas as his quarterback.
* ESPN is reporting that Michael Vick might be urged to take a leave of absence for all or part of the 2007 season. It's expected that Vick's legal issues surrounding dog fighting will be an enormous distraction for the team and Vick himself. If he is asked to take a leave of absence, it could help the Vikings, who play Atlanta in Week One of the regular season.
* If in fact Vick voluntarily takes a leave of absence, is forced to sit for a while or gets suspended by the league, the Falcons' interest in Culpepper would likely intensify greatly and he could be in the front of the line as a replacement for Vick.
* Things are going easy for Mike Tomlin as the new head coach of the Steelers. Guard Alan Faneca, who has been a vocal voice of opposition to the new regime, said he has no interest in remaining one of the team captains. Tomlin has no problem with that, saying he was going to select his 2007 captains on merit and not "anoint anyone" to the position from the Bill Cowher era.
* The Bengals have had a ton of off-field problems that might be moving their way around the agent circles. With one week before the start of training camp, the Bengals have yet to sign a single draft pick.

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