Packers' Guion loses suspension appeal
Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion has been suspended for the first three games of the 2015 regular season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
The suspension is fallout from his February arrest in Starke, Fla., for felony possession of marijuana (357 grams or roughly three-fourths of a pound) and a firearm. Police seized about $190,000 in cash and his 2015 Dodge Ram truck during the arrest.
The NFL only announces suspensions after the appeals process is concluded, so Guion's three-game ban is final. He will be eligible to return to the Packers’ active roster Sept. 29, following the team’s Sept. 28 game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Guion is still eligible to practice with the Packers and play in the final two preseason games. The Packers have began preparations for his absence. He didn't play until the second half of Sunday's 24-19 loss to Pittsburgh.
Guion reached a plea agreement of no contest in March that included him paying a $5,000 fine and having the charges dismissed. Guion was in negotiations with the Packers on a long-term deal prior to the incident, but then settled for a one-year, $2.75 million contract with no guarantees.
In addition to a $1.5 million base salary and $100,000 workout bonus, the agreement calls for a $1.15 million roster bonus paid out in $71,875 increments for games in which he’s active. That means the three-game suspension will cost him around $480,000 in total.
As an insurance policy, the Packers re-signed veteran B.J. Raji on the same day they agreed to terms with Guion. It was Raji’s right biceps tear sustained in the Packers’ third preseason games that set the table for Guion’s career year. His 32 tackles and 3½ sacks were second on the defensive line to rusher Mike Daniels (41 tackles, 5½ sacks).
The Packers will be down two defensive linemen at the start of the season with third-year end Datone Jones suspended for the regular-season opener because of a substance-abuse violation for a marijuana citation he received hours after the NFC championship game in January.
In an interview with Press-Gazette Media during organized team activities, Guion said he understands that he’ll be under a microscope going forward. He doesn’t have any problem with setting marijuana aside for the sake of his NFL career.
"I don't think I'll miss it," Guion said. "If I wasn't playing football, I'd miss that. It's mind over matter. I have a job to do, and I have to follow the guidelines and rules.”
Guion will be able to attend training camp and participate in preseason games, but will be placed on the reserve/suspended list at the start of the regular season should he make the Packers’ roster.
-- firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.