Bad timing? Fresh off signing with the New York Giants, Josh Mauro will be spending the first four games of the 2018 season away from the team.
The NFL suspended Josh Mauro, 27, today for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances.
The news comes just days after Mauro signed a one-year $800,000 contract to shore up the New York Giants’ defensive line.
It also creates a bit of a hole on the Giants’ line after the team just traded star defensive end, Jason Pierre-Paul, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers yesterday.
In a statement, Mauro alleged that the positive test stemmed from unintentionally taking a banned stimulant in an over-the-counter supplement. However, he ultimately took full responsibility for the failed test.
Mauro went undrafted out of Stanford in 2014. He was picked up and cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers prior to the beginning of the 2014 season. Mauro signed on with the Arizona Cardinals midway through the same season where he ended up starting two games. After playing in 14 games (four starts) in 2015, Mauro gained the trust of the Cardinals’ coaching staff. He started 13 games at defensive tackle/nose tackle in 2016. Although he did not register any sacks that year, he did record seven tackles for a loss. Last season, he played more defensive end and saw less time on the field, having played in two less games and with six less starts.
The suspension comes at a time when the Giants were looking to transition to a 3-4 defense. With the loss of Pierre-Paul, Mauro was looked at as a very cheap veteran who added depth and familiarity with the new system being implemented. Indeed, the Giants recently signed former Arizona Cardinals’ defensive coordinator James Bettcher to run the defense in East Rutherford. Bettcher utilized Mauro all along the line in Arizona.
Losing Mauro leaves the Giants with five defensive ends, but just two with more than two years of NFL experience. The Giants now have to look elsewhere to bolster the line, at least for the early part the upcoming season.