Packers: Letroy Guion suspended for first four games of 2017 season
GREEN BAY — The Green Bay Packers will start a third straight season with a key interior defensive lineman on the NFL’s suspended list — assuming veteran nose tackle Letroy Guion is still on the team for the season opener.
The NFL announced Tuesday that Guion will be suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2017 season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Citing the confidential nature of the league’s drug policies, the Packers issued no comment beyond passing along the league’s announcement. It’s unclear what performance-enhancing substance Guion was suspended for using.
The Packers opened the 2015 season without Guion after he was suspended for the first three games for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse. Then, they opened last year without defensive tackle Mike Pennel, who was suspended for four games for violating the substance-abuse policy. Pennel was then suspended for four more games at the end of last season, then promptly released when the suspension expired as the playoffs began.
ESPN.com reported that Guion, upon learning he would be suspended, agreed to restructure his contract with the Packers. With two years left on the three-year, $11.25 million deal he signed before last season, Guion was slated to receive a $400,000 roster bonus this week and another in early May. He apparently agreed to push those bonuses back, which keeps the Packers from having decide quickly on whether they’d like to keep him on the roster.
The restructured deal doesn’t guarantee Guion a spot on the roster, but the defensive line isn’t exactly deep, so it allows the Packers to keep their options open. He contributed to a Packers defense that ranked eighth in the 32-team league against the run. The Packers could bolster their defensive line in free agency or the draft and then determine if Guion remains in their plans.
This marks the second time in three years that Guion has run into off-the-field issues in the offseason. In February 2015, he was arrested in his hometown in Florida when a traffic stop resulted in multiple charges, including marijuana possession. He avoided jail time in that case, paying a $5,000 fine as part of a plea agreement. That incident led to his suspension to start the 2015 season.
Back in the House?
Davon House played four years in Green Bay. The Packers need cornerback help. Talk about your no-brainer potential acquisitions.
An NFL source confirmed Tuesday afternoon that there’s mutual interest between House, who was cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday, and the Packers, whose 31st-ranked pass defense was a significant problem last season. ESPN.com first reported the possible reunion between the two.
House, who left Green Bay for Jacksonville in March 2015 for a four-year, $24.5 million unrestricted free agent deal ($10 million guaranteed), fell out of favor with the Jaguars last season. Because he was released, he is free to sign with any team — even before the free agent signing period begins Thursday — and would not count in the NFL’s compensatory pick equation. The Packers received a fourth-round compensatory pick in last year’s draft for losing House to the Jaguars.
House spent four seasons in Green Bay after joining the team as a fourth-round pick from New Mexico State. Teammates would often talk about how effective House was in practice against star receiver Jordy Nelson, going so far as to call House Nelson’s “Kryptonite.”
House, who turns 28 in July, would be reunited with defensive coordinator Dom Capers and cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt, who developed him into a starting-caliber cornerback. He dealt with injury issues throughout his first tour of duty in Green Bay but would give the team another option alongside third-year cornerbacks LaDarius Gunter, Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins and LaDarius Gunter in the wake of veteran Sam Shields’ release last month.