Free-agent cornerback Justin Gilbert suspended one year by NFL

Free-agent cornerback <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/219307/" data-ylk="slk:Justin Gilbert">Justin Gilbert</a> was suspended for the entire 2017 season. (Getty Images)
Free-agent cornerback Justin Gilbert was suspended for the entire 2017 season. (Getty Images)

The disappointing career of cornerback Justin Gilbert took yet another turn for the worse on Tuesday as the NFL suspended the former first round pick for the entire 2017 season due to a another violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. The news was first reported by the NFL Network.

Gilbert, who is currently a free agent, was selected out of Oklahoma State by the Browns with the No. 8 overall pick in 2014. But he lasted just two seasons in Cleveland before being traded to AFC North rival Pittsburgh shortly before the start of the 2016 season. He played in 12 games for the Steelers last year but hardly made an impact, registering just three tackles as well as three kick returns. He was cut shortly after the season ended.

Gilbert joins a long list of draft busts in recent Browns history. Of Cleveland’s 10 first-round selections between 2007 and 2014, only two players — left tackle Joe Thomas and cornerback Joe Haden — are still with the team. Neither of the 2014 first-rounders (Gilbert and quarterback Johnny Manziel) are currently on a league roster.

In late May, Gilbert was suspended four games by the league for his first violation of the substance abuse policy. A second violation translates into not only a one-year ban but reinstatement from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

In his three-year career, Gilbert has registered 42 total tackles as well as one interception he returned 23 yards for a touchdown in his rookie campaign. He has appeared in 35 games.

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