NFL Hands Down 4-Game Suspensions: Richardson, Gates, McClain
The NFL has suspended New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson without pay for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for violating the NFL's policy and program for substances of abuse.
Richardson was fourth among defensive linemen in run tackles last year, and on most teams this would be a devastating loss. For the Jets, they still have Damon Harrison (second in run tackles) and Muhammad Wilkerson (13th), and they spent a first-round pick on Leonard Williams, so they should be OK. (Although Richardson's 8.0 sacks might be more difficult to replace.)
FURTHER UPDATE: Well, apparently, it's "hand down drug suspensions" day at NFL headquarters.
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain has also been suspended four games for violating the league's policy against substances of abuse. The former Raiders first-round pick has retired from the NFL on two separate occasions and sat out the 2013 season, but started 13 games for Dallas last year at inside linebacker.
McClain's case is complicated because he was already facing suspension for a third drug test failure. He then failed a fourth test and was suspended four games. In other words, another suspension over that third failure could still come down the line.
And moving from weed to PEDs, Antonio Gates has been suspended for four games. Gates took full responsibility in a released statement, saying that he didn't do his due diligence in researching the substances he used to come back from injury last year, but that ignorance is no excuse.
So, is the Ladarius Green early-season breakout finally here?