Marcell Dareus may have put the Buffalo Bills in a serious hole to start their crucial 2014 campaign. With a new owner on the horizon and jobs on the line, Dareus could watch the first quarter of this season from his sofa. The NFL can suspend the Pro Bowl defensive tackle four games for Monday night's arrest on felony charges of possessing a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. A source told The Buffalo News that Dareus had synthetic marijuana, a substance known for avoiding detection in drug tests. There are two possible ways NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell could suspend Dareus under the league's substances-of-abuse and personal-conduct policies. And it wouldn't matter that this is Dareus' first known offense. From the substances-of-abuse policy: "A player will normally be subject to discipline up to and including suspension without pay for four regular and/or postseason games for a first violation of the law related to substances of abuse other than alcohol and for six regular and/or postseason games for a second violation of the law related to substances of abuse other than alcohol." Dareus won't necessarily avoid discipline if he's found not guilty or if he pleads to a lesser offense. Goodell has the ability to suspend players for making the NFL look bad. From the NFL's personal-conduct policy: "It is not enough simply to avoid being found guilty of a crime. Instead, as an employee of the NFL or a member club, you are held to a higher standard and expected to conduct yourself in a way that is responsible, promotes the values upon which the league is based and is lawful. "Persons who fail to live up to this standard of conduct are guilty of conduct detrimental and subject to discipline, even where the conduct itself does not result in conviction of a crime." Bills communications executive Scott Berchtold said late Tuesday night the team didn't know anything about Dareus' arrest aside from what had been reported in the media. That's another potential problem for Dareus. The NFL requires players to notify their teams about "any incident that may be a violation of this [personal-conduct] policy, and particularly when any conduct results in an arrest or other criminal charge. ... Failure to report an incident will constitute conduct detrimental and will be taken into consideration in making disciplinary determination."
Marcell Dareus arrested in Alabama
Buffalo News | May 7