TE Waller banned year for substance violation


OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens tight end Darren Waller has been suspended without pay for at least one year for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

This is the second time in two years that Waller has been suspended. He had 10 receptions and scored two touchdowns in 2016.

This is another blow to the Ravens’ tight end group. Dennis Pitta, who led all tight ends in receptions last season, reinjured his right hip during the offseason and was released.

Three other Ravens tight ends — Benjamin Watson (Achilles), Maxx Williams (knee) and Crockett Gillmore (hamstring) — missed portions of the offseason. Watson and Gillmore are expected to return in training camp, while Williams could be placed on the physically unable to perform list.

The suspension will cost Waller his 2017 base salary of $642,774.

Last season, Waller told the Ravens’ website that he tested positive for marijuana. He said he was undergoing mental evaluation and a lifestyle change.

“There were other personal issues, and [marijuana] was one thing I always turned to,” Waller said in October. “It was just about finding more positive outlets for me to do, like talking to people about it and things like that. I’m definitely at a better place with that now.”

Waller, a 2015 sixth-round pick, was suspended two games during his final season at Georgia Tech for violating team rules.

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