The tumultuous offseason of the Cincinnati Bengals
continued Thursday when two league sources and one source close to Odell Thurman
confirmed that the starting middle linebacker has been suspended for four games for a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. Thurman
The suspension for the first month of the campaign, which had been rumored for much of the offseason, might explain in part the Bengals' decision to select former University of Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks
in Thursday afternoon's supplemental draft.
Cincinnati chose Brooks, who was dismissed from the Cavaliers squad by coach Al Groh for repeat violations of unspecified team rules, in the third round of the supplemental lottery. The Bengals will forfeit their third-round choice in the 2007 draft. League and team officials, citing the confidentiality guidelines of the substance-abuse program, declined to comment Thursday on Thurman's status.