New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount has been suspended without pay for the 2015 regular-season opener, an NFL spokesman said Tuesday. Blount's suspension is for a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Blount, who will lose $48,685 in base salary as part of the suspension, in addition to a $6,250 per-game roster bonus, finished last season as the Patriots' lead running back.
The 28-year-old was playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers when he and Le'Veon Bell were arrested Aug. 20 after police said they found about three-fourths of an ounce of marijuana in Bell's car during a traffic stop in Ross Township, a Pittsburgh suburb.
The charge was dropped after Blount agreed to complete 50 hours of community service by Feb. 4.
Bell is expected to be suspended for the first two games of next season as a result of the August arrest, sources told ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton.
Bell will spend 15 months on probation in a first-offender's program and will have his driver's license suspended for 60 days. Under the terms of the NFL's new substance abuse policy, he faces up to a two-game suspension.
Prosecutors later dropped a marijuana charge against Blount, who projects as the Patriots' top running back entering 2015. The top backup is second-year pro Jonas Gray.
Blount can participate in all offseason practices and preseason games before the suspension.
In his final five games of the regular season after joining the Patriots, Blount rushed for 281 yards on 60 carries, with three touchdowns.