Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, who slipped to No. 13 after a video surfaced on social media right before the NFL Draft got underway, is not expected to begin his pro career under the league’s substance-abuse program.
A source told ESPN that the rookie is expected to get a clean slate from the NFL but the league will closely monitor and support Tunsil in the event intervention is needed.
The Ole Miss offensive tackle’s draft stock plummeted — including being passed over by the Baltimore Ravens with the No. 6 overall pick — amid a series of social media posts on allegedly hacked accounts belonging to him just minutes before the start of the draft. A video posted on Twitter showed him smoking marijuana through a bong while wearing a gas mask.
The Dolphins and Tunsil confirmed the video was from two years ago.
“I do not have a drug problem,” Tunsil told the Miami media on Friday. “You can check all my college tests. I never failed one.”
There is a “behavior” clause in the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement that made it possible for Tunsil to enter Stage 1 of the program but the league will give Tunsil a fresh start, according to the ESPN.
The 21-year-old Tunsil admits he is coming to Miami with a lot to prove.
“Don’t question my character,” Tunsil said. “You can’t judge a book by its cover. I’m a good person. I’m a laid-back guy. I don’t do much.”
Dolphins owner Steve Ross said he wasn’t discouraged from drafting Tunsil.
“I think a lot of work was done for months and months,” Ross said. “Two hours before the draft (the video is released), it’s totally someone out to get the guy. It’s not a question of this guy changed overnight. And the work we’ve done on him, the people we talked to, and even subsequently we continued that, and meeting the kid you know this a good kid. It’s going to be a great choice.”
In addition to the video posted, screenshots surfaced on Tunsil’s Instagram account Thursday night of a text conversation he allegedly had with Ole Miss director of football operations John Miller in which Tunsil asked for money to help his mother pay recent electric bills.
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