Broncos’ Von Miller banned first six-games, of 2013 season, for drug violation
It was a close call for Miller, who could have been shut down for an entire season, or at least eight contests. But the NFLPA talked the league down to a six-game suspension without pay. Miller, who was previously due to make $2.28 million in 2013 salary, will now lose $806,161.76 in wages over his six-game suspension. The second-year pro Miller is also subject to forfeiting over $1.2 million of his signing bonus. So, all in all the suspension could end up costing Miller more than $2 million this season.
"The Substances of Abuse policy requires everyone to comply with the rules. Although my suspension doesn’t result from a positive test, there is no excuse for my violations of the rules," Miller said in a written statement released through the NFLPA on Tuesday. "I made mistakes and my suspension has hurt my team, Broncos fans, and myself. I am especially sorry for the effect of my bad decisions on others.”
“I will not make the same mistakes about adhering to the policy in the future. During my time off the field, I will work tirelessly and focus exclusively on remaining in peak shape,” Miller continued. “I look forward to contributing immediately upon my return to the field and bringing a championship back to the people of Denver.”
The suspension stems from a violation of the league’s drug policy, since Miller provided the league with a diluted urine sample, according to league sources. Miller reportedly spilled his sample of urine during the scheduled test and then provided them with a diluted second sample. The suspension was initially for four-games, which is standard for a first time violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy. But after information on further violations was revealed during the appeals process, since Miller was already in the NFL’s drug program due to a testing positive for marijuana as a rookie, he could have received a suspension of up to one season.
However, Miller’s representatives – which included NFLPA lawyers and outside counsel – made a case during negotiations that the league breached confidentiality by providing the Broncos with Miller’s full drug-testing history, according to reports. Thus, using that information as leverage, they were able to back down the suspension to six-games.
Miller’s suspension kicks in Aug. 31 and will run through Week 6. During this period, Miller will not be allowed to attend the Broncos’ games or practices, though he can train at the team’s facility. Miller will be eligible to return for the Broncos’ Week 7 game against the Indianapolis Colts.
It is a big loss for both the Miller as well as the Broncos, since he was into the third-year of his contract and eligible for an extension after the season, while his presence will be greatly missed over the first half of the season after leading the team with 18.5 sacks last season.