Seattle Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin has been suspended for the first four games of the 2013 regular season after violating the NFL's policy against performance-enhancing drugs.
Irvin, who is eligible to participate in training camp and the preseason, will miss games against the Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans before he is reinstated on Monday, Sept. 30. The four-game suspension will cost the 2012 first-round pick out of West Virginia $191,681 in base salary and could potentially void the guarantees on the $3,717,870 that remains on his four-year, $9.342 million rookie contract. The Seahawks could also seek to recoup a prorated portion ($307,902) of Irvin's signing bonus.
According to Dave "Softy" Mahler of 950-KJR in Seattle, Irvin's suspension is due to unauthorized use of Adderall, a substance that led to 2012 suspensions of Seahawks cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman. Browner served his four-game ban, but Sherman challenged his suspension, which was overturned.
"I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and Seahawks fans for making a mistake when I took a substance that is prohibited in the NFL without a medical exemption," Irvin said in a statement. "I am extremely disappointed in the poor judgment I showed and take full responsibility for my actions. I will not appeal the discipline and instead will focus my energy on preparing for the season so I can begin earning your trust and respect again. I look forward to contributing to the team the moment I return."
Selected with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2012 draft, Irvin came off the bench in all 16 games and was credited with 16 tackles, including eight sacks, with 19 quarterback hits, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 43.41 percent of the Seahawks' defensive snaps. Irvin added another sack in the playoffs and was expected to play a larger role in the defense in 2013 as starting defensive end Chris Clemons is recovering from a torn ACL.
The Seahawks did cover their bases at the position this offseason by signing former Detroit Lions pass-rusher Cliff Avril to a two-year, $13 million contract on March 15.
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