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Free agent defensive back Gilbert banned for year

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Suspended by the NFl for repeated substance abuse violations, Justin Gilbert played nine games for the Browns in 2015 before being traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers © GETTY IMAGES/AFP/File / Gregory Shamus

NEW YORK, United States, Jun 21 – Free agent cornerback Justin Gilbert, the eighth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, was suspended for a year by the NFL after a second violation of the league substance abuse policy within two months.

The league’s NFL Network reported that Gilbert, who last month had been suspended for four games for a drug policy violation, saw that punishment increased by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after a repeat violation.

Gilbert must apply for reinstatement before a possible 2018 return.

In 2014, Gilbert played 14 games for the Cleveland Browns, making 25 tackles, assisting in four others and intercepting one pass.

He played nine games for the Browns in 2015 before being traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who used him mainly on kick teams last year. He played in 12 games, returning three kicks for 69 yards, but was released by the Steelers in February.

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