Broncos linebacker Von Miller is currently serving a six-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. CBS NFL Insider Jason La Canfora confirms that Miller tried unsuccessfully to corrupt the NFL's drug-testing program with the help of a urine collector before both were caught.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen first reported the story.
This explains why when Miller was suspended on Aug. 20; initial reports indicated that the suspension was a result of negotiations between the NFL Players Association and the league. Miller could have faced a more severe suspension until it was negotiated down to six games.
"Any future mistakes -- not just necessarily a positive test -- but if Miller fails to comply with every piece of this testing protocol, it could result in a one-year suspension," La Canfora said during a Sunday appearance on CBS Sports Network's That Other Pregame Show.
One of Mortensen's sources was "reasonably certain" that no money changed hands between Miller and the collector, but, Mortensen adds, "there was concern the NFL may have a problem beyond Miller and the collector involved."
Mortensen continued: "While Miller's reps and the NFLPA were prepared to fight the suspension vigorously in the appeals process, sources said the NFL, NFLPA and Miller's representatives became aware the Broncos linebacker and the collector involved worked together in an attempt to help Miller avoid a failed test."
At the time of his suspension, Miller said that "there is no excuse" for violating the rules but added that the suspension did not "result from a positive test."
Now we know why.
"I made mistakes and my suspension has hurt my team, Broncos fans, and myself," Miller said at the time. "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."
Last week, La Canfora reported that Miller's parents had moved in with the third-year player shortly after his suspension came down, and the Broncos plan to have a team employee work directly with Miller on a daily basis making sure he is coordinating his time wisely, and working with the player's representatives closely.
"Miller isn't seen as a bad kid by any stretch, but clearly he has issues with maturity and responsibility," La Canfora wrote. "He's been known to show up to the wrong meeting at the team facility or show up late despite being inside the facility, with details sometimes slipping his mind. For lack of a better word, team officials will babysit him more closely and ensure Miller understands that things many would take for granted -- like traveling outside of the state without first notifying the NFL -- he cannot do. Due to the stage of the drug program he is in, all such trips must be cleared first so that Miller is able to potentially be drug tested."