Martin suspended by NFL

OWINGS MILLS -- The NFL suspended Baltimore Ravens cornerback Derrick Martin without pay for one game and an additional game check for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, a punishment stemming from being charged with possession of marijuana at the Cleveland airport earlier this summer.

In July, Martin, 23, was cited and charged with alleged possession of three small bags of marijuana at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport during a random TSA screening while attempting to board a flight, according to Ohio police officials.

However, Martin pleaded no contest this month to a disorderly conduct charge as the misdemeanor drug abuse charge was dropped. He paid a $100 fine.

"The city of Cleveland didn't feel they had enough credible evidence to pursue the charge against Derrick and they offered the disorderly conduct charge," said Brad Cicala, Martin's agent. "We plead to disorderly conduct because we felt that it was in Derrick and the Ravens' best interest not to oppose it due to outstanding circumstances."

A sixth-round draft pick out of Wyoming in 2006, Martin hasn't had any other brushes with the law or violations of the league's substance abuse-policies.

With Martin and nickel back Fabian Washington suspended for the first game for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy because of a domestic-violence arrest in February, neither player counts against the active roster currently.

"We will add another player before the opener against the Bengals," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said.

The suspension began Saturday and Martin is ineligible to return to the active roster until Sept. 8, one day after the Ravens' opening game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The suspension was somewhat surprising considering the drug charge was dropped, but the league has been taking a hard-line stance under NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on off-field problems.

Due a $445,000 base salary this season, the loss of two game checks means that Martin will be penalized a total of $52,352.

Martin had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder during the offseason and tore his sutures against the Minnesota Vikings earlier this month, a game where he returned an interception for a touchdown.

Martin told the Times this week that he wouldn't be able to play for at least a week or two due to the shoulder problem, adding that the swelling has gone down in his shoulder. His right arm is no longer in a sling.

"The timing of the suspension coincides with the injury," Cicala said. "Derrick is glad to put this behind him and is concentrating on football and looking forward to the season."

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.


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