Justin Gilbert's NFL career was already on life support. On Tuesday, it might've flatlined.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Gilbert was suspended for at least one season after violating the league's substances of abuse policy. To play again, he will be required to apply for reinstatement. So, not only does Gilbert need to find an NFL team willing to take a chance on him, he'll also need Roger Goodell to sign off on his return.
Gilbert, the eighth overall pick of the Browns in 2014, never turned into player Cleveland and Pittsburgh thought he'd be. He started three games for the Browns in two seasons before he was traded to the Steelers last summer in exchange for a sixth-round pick. He appeared in 12 games, but didn't make much of an impact. He was cut in February.
Joe Thomas, Gilbert's former teammate in Cleveland, weighed in at the time:
Trouble began shortly after. Late last month, Gilbert was suspended four games for violating the NFL's drug policy. That four-game suspension morphed into a year-long suspension on Tuesday.
If this is the end of Gilbert's career, he'll finish with one interception in three seasons. Along with Johnny Manziel, he'll go down as one of Cleveland's biggest draft busts. Of note: Players like Odell Beckham, Aaron Donald, Anthony Barr, and Zack Martin were taken within the next 10 picks after Gilbert went off the board.
At 25, Gilbert is still young enough to try to mount a comeback in a year. But at this point, his career appears to be over.