There were several red flags raised around Bruce Irvin, the talented but troubled pass rusher taken by Seattle with the 15th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Irvin backed up production hype with eight sacks his rookie year, but gave haters fuel with a recent suspension for a violation of the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
It's an intentionally vague reason, not wanting to disclose specifics, but judging by Irvin's comments, it doesn't take much to see into those specifics.
"I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and Seahawks fans for making a mistake when I took a substance that is prohibited in the NFL without a medical exemption," Irvin said in a statement.
While it's likely a player will eventually seek exception to the policy for marijuana use based on medical need, the medical exception he speaks of is most likely for Adderall, the Type II controlled substance used to treat Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder that's already claimed multiple suspensions, including former Steelers tight end Weslye Saunders.
According to an Associated Press report, five Seahawks players - John Moffitt, Allen Barbre, Winston Guy, Brandon Browner and Irvin - have received four-game suspensions for violations of the banned substances policy. Cornerback Richard Sherman was suspended after violating the policy, but had it overturned on a procedural technicality that didn't at all skew the results of his test. Moffitt was a rookie and said he was unaware of Adderall being a banned substance at the time.
That is leading to the coining of the nickname "Sea-Adderall" for a Seahawks team that could compete for an NFC West championship and a deep postseason run. Assuming they will have all their players available this season.
It's easy to pin it all on the Seahawks, but obviously, they aren't the only players taking Adderall without a medical exception. According to Sherman, "half the league uses Adderall," not mentioning whether that half uses it with a medical exception or are able to avoid detection one way or another.
Browns cornerback Joe Haden was suspended in 2012 for a similar violation with his admittance he tested positive for Adderall as well.
It should be perfectly clear by now using Adderall without going through proper channels within the league isn't allowed. To Irvin's credit, he admitted his mistake instead of pleading ignorance, and he'll serve his suspension and move on. But there shouldn't be any excuse for anyone else.