LaVon Brazill’s drug use is already going to cost him some cash. If he doesn’t change his ways, it could cost him an NFL job, too.
The second-year Colts receiver insisted it’s an easy choice: He’ll take money over marijuana any day.
On Monday, Brazill promised to avoid any more off-the-field missteps as he made his first public comments since the NFL imposed a four-game suspension for a failed drug test. Brazill admitted he alone was to blame and said he has promised the Colts it won’t happen again.
"I know any one of you would choose money any day, so that’s gone and I’m choosing money any day," Brazill said Monday after Indianapolis’ morning walkthrough at Anderson University.
Indianapolis took Brazill in the sixth round of last year’s draft, hoping he and T.Y. Hilton could form a young nucleus with quarterback Andrew Luck. Brazill wound up catching 11 passes for 186 yards and one touchdown.
The Colts have even bigger plans for Brazill this season, if he’s around.
Coach Chuck Pagano and team owner Jim Irsay have said they were "disappointed" by having three Indy players — Brazill, safety Joe Lefeged and tight end Weslye Saunders — make headlines over the past month for trouble away from the field.
Lefeged was arrested in Washington on a gun possession charge and Saunders received an eight-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy for the second time in 18 months. General manager Ryan Grigson cut Saunders before the team even reported to training camp Saturday.
"That definitely makes it clear that you can get cut at any time," Brazill said.
By definition, the suspension means Brazill is already a repeat offender. A first-time violation sends the player into a treatment program though there is no public disclosure. Brazill’s second violation resulted in the suspension, the loss of four game checks and forces him to undergo weekly drug tests and regular counseling.
While Brazill acknowledged the team offered to support him through the treatment process, he knows he is running out of chances.
"I shot myself in the foot on that. I didn’t take that serious, but now I see that it’s serious," Brazill said when asked about changing his ways earlier. "Like I said, I’m putting that in the past and I’m moving forward now."
But when Brazill was asked whether the second failed test indicated he had a drug problem, Brazill said: "No. No problem."
Pro Bowler Reggie Wayne will start at one receiver spot for Indianapolis, with the second spot going to either recently signed free agent Darrius Heyward-Bey or Hilton. Heyward-Bey was Oakland’s first-round draft pick in 2009. Hilton set a franchise rookie record with five 100-yard games and led all NFL rookies in touchdown receptions (seven) in 2012.
The Colts have six other receivers, including Brazill, trying to make the 53-man roster, and Brazill intends to do everything he can to make sure he stays on the field. Even staying clean.
"No more of this. No more of this," Brazill said. "This is out of my life and I’m done."