Jets' Sheldon Richardson: 'I'm Not a Dope Fiend'

Jets star defensive end Sheldon Richardson before he was suspended for four games by the NFL.

Six NFL players, including Pro Bowler Sheldon Richardson, were suspended for testing positive for a substance of abuse (most likely marijuana) or PEDs in July. 

The Jets defensive end Richardson and Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain will sit for the first four games of the 2015 season. Vikings' cornerback Jabari Price received a two-game suspension and Packers' defensive end Datone Jones a one-game ban.

The Daily News has confirmed that Richardson tested positive for marijuana.

A four-game suspension is triggered by a third violation of the NFL's Substances of Abuse Policy, which was amended in September. 

Sheldon Richardson’s mug shot.

Update: On July 14, Richardson was arrested in MIssouri after he led police on a high-speed chase. The player was spotted drag racing in his Bentley, with three passengers, including a child, in the car. The Bentley was clocked at 143 mph. Richardson was charged with resisting arrest. Police say they smelled marijuana in the car, but didn't find any clear evidence of it. The NFL will likely add games to his suspension.

“I’m not a dope fiend," Richardson stated on July 30, when the arrest was made public.

'I can say no. I just chose not to. I was in a depressing time in my offseason. That’s just that. It’s that simple. But there’s money on the line. My money is worth more than some weed. It is what it is.'

The 13th overall pick, out of Missouri, in the 2013 draft, Richardson was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year and to the  2014 Pro Bowl. McClain was the eight overall selection, out of Alabama, by the Raiders in 2010. He signed a new one-year contract with Dallas in April. Jones was the 26th overall pick, out of UCLA, in the 2013 draft. Seventh-round 2014 pick Price played collegiate ball at North Carolina.

Antonio Gates says he used a substance (most likely HGH) to help recover from nagging injuries. He's also banned for four games. The Chargers' 35-year-old tight end is a five-time All-Pro and has been named to nine Pro Bowls during his 12-year career.

The other player charged with violating the NFL's PEDs policy, Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe, also received a four-game suspension.

On July 2, the New York Times reported that 14 players had been suspended for drug violations since the end of the 2014 season. That includes LeGarrette Blount, Le'Veon Bell and Dion Jordan.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.