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Cox suspended for violating NFL's substance policy

Buccaneers veteran cornerback Torrie Cox has been suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the upcoming season for a repeat violation of the substance abuse policy.

Torrie Cox

Cox

Cox, an emerging player who was expected to compete for the starting nickel job in training camp, will forfeit $140,006 of his scheduled 2007 base salary of $595,027. The four-year Tampa Bay veteran is permitted to participate in training camp and the preseason. Cox's suspension begins Aug. 31.

Provided he complies with the conditions of his suspension, the key reserve and standout special teams performer can return to the Bucs' active roster on Oct. 1.

"We are hopeful Torrie Cox can overcome this personal setback," general manager Bruce Allen said in a statement released by the team Tuesday.

Cox, 26, was a sixth-round choice in the 2003 draft out of Pittsburgh. He has appeared in 41 games, has 45 tackles from scrimmage, one interception, four passes defensed, one forced fumble and two recoveries.

On special teams, Cox also has registered 45 tackles and has returned 75 kickoffs for a 22.9-yard average, with six runbacks of 40 yards or more.

Cox missed his entire rookie season after suffering a torn left anterior cruciate ligament in the preseason. In 2005, Tampa Bay held Cox out of a regular-season game after he was arrested on DUI charges, his second such incident in a nine-month stretch.

Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.