Marcell Dareus, the Buffalo Bills’ defensive tackle, has been suspended for four games by the NFL for testing positive for marijuana, per several reports.
The former two-time Pro Bowler will forfeit $1.5 million in total compensation, which includes his contractual signing and option bonus. The 26-year-old apologized to his fans via Instagram.
“I will not #makeexcuses for the events in question and will allow the process to proceed as is required by the @NFL; however, please know and understand I am committed to the game and am more committed to my #Billsorganization and fans,” Dareus wrote on social media.
The Bills released a statement on Tuesday. “We are very disappointed Marcell chose to put himself first, before his teammates, coaches, the rest of the organization, and fans through his recent actions,” read the team statement.
“From ownership down we have made it clear his behavior is unacceptable. We will continue to take the necessary steps to work with him in order that he adheres to the policies set forth by our league. As an organization, we will move forward with our preparations for the start of the 2016 NFL season in Baltimore on September 11,” the statement added.
Marcell Dareus: A star defender
Dareus, one of the NFL’s premier interior defenders, signed a six-year contract worth $97 million last season. He was the No. 3 pick in the celebrated 2011 NFL draft which saw last year’s MVP (Cam Newton) and Super Bowl MVP (Von Miller) selected No. 1 and No. 2 respectively.
This isn’t Dareus’ first failed drug test. Two years ago, he was arrested in Alabama for felony possession of synthetic marijuana which is also known as “spice”. The NFL subsequently banned Dareus for the first game of the 2015 season.
Dareus is a massive loss for the Bills, who are already reeling from injuries suffered by starting outside linebacker Shaq Lawson and starting inside linebacker Reggie Ragland.
While Lawson is expected to return by Week 6, Ragland is most likely ruled out of the entire season after he tore his ACL during training camp.
Marcell Dareus registered a total of 51 tackles from 15 games last season, while averaging two sacks per game.