Two players who ended up being selected in the first round of the 2017 draft generated dilute urine samples at the Scouting Combine. From the NFL’s perspective, a dilute sample counts as a positive test, which puts the player in Stage One of the substance-abuse program at the outset of his professional career.
But if, as Peppers has claimed, the dilute sample didn’t arise from overloading his kidneys with water in an effort to conceal the metabolites of banned recreational drugs, he has nothing to worry about. Comments from Browns executive V.P. of football operations Sashi Brown suggest that Peppers has something to worry about, which implies that the team may not believe Peppers.
“It’s certainly a factor for us,” Brown said after Peppers was picked, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Jabrill understands. I think he’s been accountable for it. He understands that it’s something that he has to clean up as we move forward.”
There’s nothing to clean up if Jabrill is clean. The suggestion that he has anything to clean up hints at suspicious that he showed up at Indianapolis unclean.
“We talked to Jabrill about that,” Brown said. “That’s a concern for us. He understands it needs to be something that he’s accountable for and responsible for what he puts in his body and understands that piece of it.”
During his introductory press conference, Peppers sounded confident that it won’t be an issue.
“It was a lot of speculation on a dilute sample, which is just that — dilute,” Peppers said. “They know that I’m a high character guy. I don’t have any off-the-field issues. I have never failed a drug test in my life and never been arrested. If a dilute sample was my worst hiccup in my whole life, I will take that on the chin.”
If that’s all accurate, Peppers simply needs to be sure that no further dilute samples are given when he’s tested over the first 90 days of his career, and potentially another 90 more. With no further positive tests, Peppers will quickly exit the program and be in the same position he would have occupied if he’d never tested positive.