Update: We're just receiving reports that Von Miller's appeal of his four-game suspension for allegedly violating the NFL's drug policy has been delayed because of "complications."
This is presumably a reference to his arrest over the weekend on a bench warrant active since shortly after he skipped out on a court appearance in December.
The reason? Alleged traffic violations two months earlier.
Too soon to know for certain if this is good news or bad news for Miller -- but our money's on the latter. Any hopes of a lesser suspension seem gone now, thanks to an off-the-charts act of idiocy we detail in our previous coverage below.
Original post, 5:46 a.m.: Here's something many of us never thought we'd see, even after Von Miller was threatened with suspension, allegedly in connection with a failed drug test: The Broncos all-pro linebacker posing for a mug shot.
But so it has come to pass, and at the worst possible time -- mere hours before the NFL decides whether or not to put Miller on the shelf for four games at the start of a season in which Denver has been touted as a top Super Bowl contender. Still, his biggest crime appears to be idiocy.
With all due respect to Peyton Manning, with whom we're absolutely thrilled to share a state, Von Miller is the member of the Broncos who most exemplifies the future of the franchise. His incredible speed, which has quickly turned him into one of the NFL's most feared pass-rushers, deflects attention from the sort of strength and power that allows him to be an every-down player instead of a specialist. And his enthusiasm for the game, marked by sack dances that range from the silly to the incredibly silly, is downright infectious. We look forward to watching him wreak havoc for many, many years to come.
Unfortunately, Miller's future became cloudier last month, when news came down that he faced a four-game suspension over banned substances.
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No, they weren't performance-enhancing drugs. The Denver Post has reported that Miller tested positive in 2011, his rookie season, for marijuana and amphetamines, with the latter being characterized in some quarters as the club favorite Molly.
To confirm the obvious: Even if one objects to the NFL's policies on recreational substances (and that's certainly a discussion worth having), Miller's actions were stupid -- but not as moronic as him apparently skipping one or more testing sessions mandated by the league's intervention system. That's what triggered the possible suspension, not a new positive.
In the wake of this news, Miller's statements, marked by what seemed like genuine contrition, as well as his importance to the team and a league always looking for new defensive stars with bright personalities, had a lot of us convinced the NFL would show some leniency toward the baller -- perhaps a two-game suspension, rather than four. But in all likelihood, such prospects are out the window now, thanks to what went down on Sunday.
As pointed out by TMZ (these five words are almost never a good thing), Miller showed up at the Centennial Gun Club and Range to do some shooting on that day. As part of the operation's due diligence, staffers ran a background check and immediately triggered a flag: He reportedly has had an active bench warrant in his name since January, related to an October bust for careless driving, driving without a license and no proof of insurance.
Why? Miller had a court date on December 31, but he never showed up, resulting in the warrant -- and his current humiliation.
Is there any upbeat way to consider this situation? Well, his irresponsibility in the case of the ticket suggests that he might have actually just forgotten about the NFL drug test, as opposed to bailing on it because he knew he'd been rolling dirty. But that's about it. Miller's latest wound, like his first, is entirely self-inflicted -- an example of a pampered, coddled athlete under the delusion that none of society's rules apply to him.
He's learning differently now, but the Broncos, and the squad's fans, are going to be punished as well, by almost certainly being without Miller for the first month of the season. He's going to have to wise up fast, or else our excitement about watching him for many years to come could well turn out to be a mere fantasy.
Look below to see a 7News report on the Miller developments, followed by his summons, also obtained by the station, and a larger version of his booking photo.
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