On the Von Miller suspension front, the news is even worse than expected for the Denver Broncos, as Miller appears to be facing a six-game suspension, rather than the four-game suspension that was reported last month.
The news also suggests that Miller and the league are engaged in a negotiation to find some middle ground between the ordinary substance-abuse suspensions of four games (for a first suspension) or a full year (for a second suspension). If the NFL intends to suspend Miller for more than four games, then the NFL must be contending that Miller did something more than just the violation that triggered the initial reports of a four-game suspension.
Previous reports indicated that Miller was in the process of appealing the ordinary four-game suspension, but according to Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN, Miller is actually probably going to be suspended for at least six games.
So why would the previously reported four-game suspension now be bumped up to six games? One possibility is that there has been some other violation since word leaked out last month about Miller facing a four-game suspension.
Another possibility is that Miller’s violations were an attempt to cheat the league’s drug-testing system. For instance, Miller’s former teammate D.J. Williams was suspended six games last year after the league said he twice provided a substance other than human urine for his drug tests, then was seen attempting to pour something from a bottle hidden in his waist band into his urine sample. A report surfaced in late July that Miller had never actually tested positive for anything, but as Williams found out, you can be suspended for six games without testing positive for anything if the league thinks you tried to cheat the system.
Word surfaced last week that Miller had been arrested, but it seems highly unlikely that the suspension has anything to do with that: Miller’s arrest was for a failure to appear in court on a traffic violation, and that’s not the type of thing that gets players suspended for a first offense of the personal-conduct policy.
The NFL and Miller have been mum about what Miller actually did to violate the league’s substance-abuse policy. But it appears that the NFL is accusing Miller of going beyond the ordinary substance-abuse violations that typically trigger a four-game suspension.