FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets' disappointing season took another grim turn Friday, as the NFL announced linebacker Darron Lee has been suspended four games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
The suspension is effective immediately, meaning Lee's season is over. It will cost him $325,000 in game checks. Lee is eligible to return to the roster on Dec. 31, the day after their final game.
Lee, a former first-round pick, showed improvement this season after two underwhelming years. He leads the team with three interceptions, including one for a touchdown. He had been lobbying for Pro Bowl votes on social media.
At times, Lee has displayed immaturity. He was deactivated for a game last season because he showed up late for a practice.
In June 2017, Lee got into a heated argument with his girlfriend at a musical festival in New York City and had to be pulled away from the altercation by teammate Leonard Williams. The NFL investigated the incident, caught on cell-phone video, and decided not to impose discipline.
Lee, a former Ohio State standout, was the 20th overall pick in 2016. He signed a four-year, $10.2 million contract, fully guaranteed. He has played in 40 games, including 36 starts. He has three career interceptions and four sacks.