Buffalo Bills Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was arrested Monday night in Cleburne County, Ala.
Dareus was arrested for felony possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was held for about 30 minutes and released, according to a spokeswoman for the Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the website Tidesports.com, Dareus was stopped at 8:30 p.m. Monday by an Alabama state trooper for speeding on Interstate 20 in Cleburne County.
In a release from the Alabama Department of Public Safety, it states “after investigating further, the trooper arrested the driver, Marcell Dareus, for felony possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Dareus was placed in the Cleburne County Jail.”
A source told The Buffalo News late Tuesday that Dareus was in possession of synthetic marijuana, otherwise known as “spice.” According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, synthetic marijuana is popular in part because it can not be detected by standard drug tests.
It is unknown whether Dareus had previously been entered into Stage One of the league’s drug intervention program. If he hadn’t, he will be now. If he had, Dareus could face up to a four-game suspension for his arrest.
Regardless, Dareus’ arrest is the latest in a troubling series of missteps that dates to the end of the 2013 season, when he was suspended for a portion of each of the Bills’ final two games, both times for showing up late to team meetings.
Dareus, the third overall pick in the 2011 draft, had the best season of his career in 2013, finishing with 71 tackles and 7.5 sacks. He’s scheduled to earn a little less than $3.2 million in base salary this coming season, and count $6.5 million against the team’s salary cap.
The Bills last month picked up the fifth-year option on Dareus’ rookie contract, potentially keeping him with the team through the 2015 season. That option, however, is guaranteed for injury only until the start of the 2015 league year, so the Bills assumed very little risk in picking it up. They now have 10 months to decide what to do with Dareus and his mounting off-the-field troubles.
The Bills issued the following statement late Tuesday: “All we know right now is what we have seen in media reports and we will continue to look into this.”