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Ex-Bronco Johnson Suspended 4 Games

March 9, 2000

DENVER (AP) _ Safety Darrius Johnson, waived by the Denver Broncos on Tuesday, faces a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

Johnson said Wednesday he found out last week about the suspension for testing positive. He said he doesn’t believe it will do any good to appeal.

``They can lifetime suspend me, but I can’t get any appeals, any,″ he said. ``When are they going to help me? When? I fear for my life.″

Johnson’s agent, Harold Lewis, said he had not heard from the league or the Broncos about the suspension.

``This is new to me. I have no comment at all,″ Lewis said.

This is believed to be Johnson’s third violation, which the NFL says leads to a four-game suspension.

Johnson, 27, was arrested in December for allegedly punching a female acquaintance at a Glendale night club. The case was settled out of court.

Earlier this week, the Broncos waived Johnson to stay within their salary cap. He was due to make $600,000 this year.

The Broncos once thought so highly of Johnson, a fourth-round draft pick out of Oklahoma, that in September 1998 they signed him to a $4 million, five-year contract extension.

Johnson said he hasn’t talked to coach Mike Shanahan since his release.

In early February, Denver defensive tackle Cyron Brown was notified the NFL would suspend him for one year for violating the substance-abuse policy. Before the 1999 season, the Broncos never had a player suspended for violating the policy.

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