BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Jabrill Peppers’ first work day as a member of the Cleveland Browns was a short one.
Peppers met with reporters Friday morning on the first day of the team’s rookie minicamp where he was asked to address allegations made this week on Cleveland radio that he was, “On the lean and Molly,” which led to him spending the better part of his media availability fielding questions about them.
“No one’s going to take this moment away from me. I don’t care what it is,” Peppers said. “I’ve worked my whole life to get here. I’m happy to be here. I’m not going to let what people say about me ruin the best moment of my life. Are you kidding me? I’ve been talked about, hated on my whole life. There’s no skin off my teeth.
“I’m extremely happy I’m here. I’m happy to prove myself again.”
Peppers skipped practice Friday afternoon because he had yet to sign a participation agreement, which is standard practice for all rookies who haven’t signed their NFL contracts.
“We’re in the process of getting that done,” head coach Hue Jackson said. “Those things happen. They happen throughout the league and I think we’ll get that squared away here soon.”
Although he isn’t concerned, Jackson admitted that he was a little disappointed that he didn’t get to see the second of his 3 first-round picks on the field.
“I’m sure it’s disappointing for the young man too but that’s just part of it,” Jackson said. “We’ll work through that. We’ll get him up to speed. He did a great job in meetings last night. He’s champing at the bit and ready to go so we’ll get him out here soon.”
As for those allegations of drug use made by a radio personality, Peppers put them to rest in emphatic fashion.
“No. No. Absolutely not, never in my life,” Peppers responded when asked about the alleged drug use. “Whatever drugs [that was] said I’ve done, I’ve never done in my life.”
The allegations included a supposed eye-witness account of Peppers using a substance, something Peppers said was hard to do because he wasn’t even in Cleveland to be spotted doing anything wrong in the first place.
“I never failed a drug test in my life, never been arrested, so people want to speculate on that for other reasons, which we all know what those reasons are, and so be it,” Peppers said. “I’m just here to be the best person and football player I can be, learn from the vets, the great coaches and the coaching staff and that’s what I intend to do.”
Because of a diluted sample taken at the NFL Combine, Peppers has been placed in stage 1 of the NFL’s drug program but should he remain clean in the coming months he’ll be removed from it.
“It’s due process,” Peppers said. “You can’t be frustrated about the process. I’m not the only guy going through that process. You can’t be mad at the system. You just take it on the chin like a grown man and move forward and that’s what I intend to do.”