Posted on August 18, 2016, by Travis Pulver
When the Buffalo Bills drafted Marcell Dareus, they hoped to get someone that would be a mainstay on the defensive front for years to come. The Bills must have been pretty impressed with his body of work to sign him to a six-year, $95.1 million extension last year. They probably never expected they would have to issue a statement criticizing him, or that he would be forfeiting over $3 million a year later.
But they did, and he is.
Tuesday afternoon the Bills issued a statement in response to the news that their star defensive tackle will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season because he violated the substance abuse policy again (the first violation came last year):
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“We are very disappointed Marcell chose to put himself first, before his teammates, coaches and the rest of the organization through his recent actions. From ownership down we have made it clear his behavior is unacceptable…”
The team went on to talk about how they will continue to work with him going forward to make sure he gets back on track and remain on track. A third violation would result in a 10-game suspension.
According to Ian Rapoport, the suspension is for “either failed or missed drug tests involving his use of marijuana.”
Dareus was quick to apologize online to the fans, the team, his family, and the NFL with an Instagram post. In the post that went up Tuesday, he said he wasn’t going to make any excuses, but on Wednesday he told reporters that the suspension was due to a missed test (PFT).
If it were a missed test, it would have to be multiple missed tests since it takes more than one to warrant a four-game suspension. Whether he missed a few tests or failed one, after getting suspended last year, you would think he might have learned a lesson.
Apparently missing time last year wasn’t enough—but maybe losing around $3.3 million will.
For missing four games, he will have to forfeit a quarter of his $7.9 million base salary—approximately $1.85 million. He’ll also lose 4/17th of the $5 million portion of his signing bonus that counts towards the salary cap this year ($1.17 million). Since he was paid a $7 million option bonus this year, he will lose $274,510 of that (PFT).
His first suspension (one game) was due to an arrest for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Once you enter Stage Two of the league’s drug program, a player is subject to multiple tests per year; potentially as many as ten unannounced tests a month.
Incidents like this have to make you wonder a little bit. Why do players take risks like this? Is the high they get from whatever drug they take worth potentially losing millions of dollars? Since he has millions, are the consequences considered worth it?
According to the website PriceofWeed.com, high-quality marijuana cost on average of $339 an ounce in the state of New York. According to one submission to the site, an eighth of an ounce of high-quality marijuana can be had for $35 in Buffalo.
So for $35 of marijuana, Dareus is losing $3.3 million.
For that much money, it better have been super-high, elite quality cannabis.