At this point, only one thing about the Lane Johnson situation is known with clarity: Once again, someone leaked information in defiance of clear confidentiality provisions of the substance-abuse and PED policies.
The media conglomerate owned and operated by the NFL reported, along with other entities, that Johnson is facing a 10-game suspension for what would be a second career violation of the PED policy. Johnson initially said nothing is going on. He then reportedly told Jay Glazer of FOX that Johnson took an approved amino acid that tested for peptide, a banned substance.
Meanwhile, Johnson’s agent, Ken Sarnoff, issued a statement that seems to contradict Johnson’s explanation to Glazer.
“We are aware that a member of the media has started a rumor that Lane will be suspended for a PED violation,” Sarnoff said in a statement. “Lane has not been suspended and any report to the contrary is false. Nonetheless, we will not comment on my client’s protected health information.”
Technically, Johnson hasn’t been suspended. Yet. He has appeal rights, and as of 2014 those rights are resolved not by the league office but by a neutral panel of arbitrators. Technically, no one should even know that Johnson is facing any discipline at all until the appeal process is final.
If Johnson is facing a 10-game suspension and if the suspension is upheld, Johnson’s guaranteed money in the contract he signed earlier this year will be voided, and he will be one strike away from a minimum banishment of 24 months.