Frank Alexander suspended 4 games

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

One rotational pass rusher wont be available early in the season.

Carolina Panthers defensive end Frank Alexander has been suspended for the first four games of the 2014 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy, according to a report from the Charlotte Observer.

The nature of Alexander's suspension will not be released due to NFL policy. It's an unneccesary distraction leading into the main portion of the offseason, however the news does come before the NFL draft -- making the possibility of a replacement easier to find.

It will be interesting to see if the Panthers take a hard-line stance against Alexander. It wasn't long ago that rookie linebacker Lawrence Wilson was cut by the team for being pulled over and possessing marijuana. Wilson was a late-round pick and easy to justify, whereas Alexander was once thought to have promise in the future corps of pass rushers.

Alexander showed flashes in his rookie and sophomore seasons, but didn't receive consistent snaps. This was largely due to the guys in front of him, but nevertheless his suspension doesn't bode well for his future with the organization.

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