Superstar linebacker Von Miller has been suspended six games without pay by the NFL for having violated the league's substance abuse policy.
As this was a negotiated suspension, Miller will not appeal.
He will miss the first six games of Denver's regular season: versus Baltimore, at the Giants, versus Oakland and Philly, at Dallas, and against Jacksonville.
During his suspension, Von may not practice with the team or attend games, but he may participate in team meetings and work out at Dove Valley.
Miller's lawyers, the NFLPA, and the NFL had haggled over whether to deem his latest violation his second or third offense, with the latter carrying a one-year ban.
According to the Denver Post, Von first entered the league's testing program after testing positive several times for marijuana and an amphetamine early in his rookie season.
While the suspension was triggered by a diluted sample given by Von during the offseason, Mike Klis adds that it wasn't Miller's first "non-positive issue" relating to drug testing.
The six-game ban will cost Miller more than $2M in the form of lost salary and a forfeited portion of his rookie signing bonus, meaning he will make just $262,699 over the season's last 11 weeks.
Miller's suspension may, in concert with the DUI arrests of Matt Russell and Tom Heckert, result in the NFL fining the Broncos organization as well, perhaps to the tune of more than $266K.
Statement from Von Miller via NFLPA
The Substances of Abuse policy requires everyone to comply with the rules. Although my suspension doesn’t result from a positive test, there is no excuse for my violations of the rules. I made mistakes and my suspension has hurt my team, Broncos fans, and myself. I am especially sorry for the effect of my bad decisions on others. I will not make the same mistakes about adhering to the policy in the future. During my time off the field, I will work tirelessly and focus exclusively on remaining in peak shape. I look forward to contributing immediately upon my return to the field and bringing a championship back to the people of Denver.
Statement from John Fox
Von has acknowledged making some mistakes in the past and is now being held accountable under the policies the league has in place. While it’s very disappointing that we will be without him for the start of the season, we will support him as a football team and organization.
All of us will stand by Von and help him however possible as he continues his personal growth off the field.
Replacing him on the field will not be easy, but every team must deal with adversity. We will plan accordingly and be prepared. I am confident our team will step up and meet the challenge.
I expect Von to stay in excellent shape and be ready to play at a high level when he returns to the Broncos.
Updated 6:52pm ET