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Soward suspended for 2002


R. Jay Soward has been suspended by the NFL for the 2002 season, after having failed a recent substance abuse test.

Soward, the Jaguars' first-round draft choice in 2000, had served four-game and six-game suspensions this past season for violation of the league's substance abuse policy, and he served a four-game, team-imposed suspension for violation of team rules in December. Soward hasn't played in an NFL game since Dec. 17, 2000, in week 16. Coach Tom Coughlin put Soward on the "reserve/non-football illness" list for treatment of an unspecified illness on Dec. 20, 2000, and he missed the final game of the 2000 season. He was also suspended for a game earlier that season for violation of team rules.

The troubled wide receiver represents $1.2 million of remaining bonus amortization with three years remaining on his five-year contract. If the Jaguars released him after June 1, Soward would count $400,000 on the team's 2002 salary cap and $800,000 in 2003, provided no other team claimed him off waivers. If a team claimed him off waivers, the Jaguars would have to claim all $1.2 million on their 2002 salary cap.

If the Jaguars choose to retain Soward on their "reserve" list, he will count $400,000 of bonus amortization on their 2002 salary cap. His $730,000 salary may now be deducted from his projected $1.13 million hit on the Jaguars' 2002 cap.

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