Von Miller is likely to be suspended “at least six games” for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, according to Chris Mortensen. This is an even longer suspension than originally expected, potentially indicating more prior offenses than previously known.
[UPDATE: How do you get to a six game suspension under league policy? I went back and reviewed the drug policy that I had looked at when news leaked about alleged details of his positive drug test.
Mortensen uses the phrase “at least six games.” The only time that amount of suspension comes up under the policy is in reference to a second failed drug test in what is labeled Stage Two of the drug intervention program (and thus, a third failed test, because the first would have put a player in the program in Stage One to begin with).
The relevant portion is on Pages 16 to 18 of this document. The six game suspension is section E.2.b(2)(b).
A suspension for the period of time to cover six consecutive regular and post season games (including the Pro Bowl, if selected) without pay if the player was suspended pursuant to Section E.2.b.(1)(b) above.
That other referenced section is the four game suspension for the first positive test after being moved to Stage Two. Here’s the thing: Miller has not served a four game suspension yet. So when Mort says “at least six games” is what he is hearing from his sources, that may be six for a second positive, on top of the four games for a first positive (while in Stage Two of the drug program). That’s the only way you get to six games under the agreement, if Mort’s sources are correct. (Or Goodell could I suppose try to impose punishment outside the scope of any written agreement, but that’s the only way under the collectively bargained terms).
So, Broncos fans, it could be 10 games (4 + 6 for two separate).
That’s not all. Two positive tests would move a player to Stage Three. According to the agreement, “A player in Stage Three will remain in Stage Three for the remainder of his NFL career.” Further, if the player has a positive test in Stage Three, he “will be banished from the NFL for a minimum period of one calendar year.”