Josh Mauro’s debut as a Giants will be delayed.
The defensive end who signed with the team as a free agent last week has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2018 regular season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Mauro will be eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason games and practices, but he will have to sit out the first month of the season.
The Giants were aware of the pending discipline when they signed him to a one-year contract that was worth up to $880,000. The suspension drops his base salary down to less than $600,000.
In a statement through his agent, Mauro said his drug test “showed traces of a banned stimulant from a pre-workout supplement bought over the counter.” The NFL does not comment on the reason for such suspensions.
The suspension also leaves a potential hole in the Giants’ defense. Mauro was expected to compete for a starting job, particularly following the trade of Jason Pierre-Paul to the Bucs on Thursday. He played for new Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher in Arizona and figured to be a key piece to the implementation of a new scheme with the Giants.
He still may be one. Just not yet.
“I want to thank the entire Giants organization for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to compete and help bring another championship to such a storied franchise,” Mauro added in his statement. “I look forward to overcoming this adversity I’ve ultimately brought upon myself and will do everything I can to contribute to this team winning football games.”