Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton are both out of football, seven years after they were the first two picks of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2009 NFL Draft. While neither were colossal busts, getting just a handful of seasons out of both players wasn’t exactly what the Jaguars had in mind when they drafted the pair of offensive tackles.
Now, both Monroe and Britton are better known as marijuana advocates for NFL players.
Monroe has been at the forefront of the push for medicinal marijuana to be available to players and railed against the abuse of opioids in the NFL when he announced his retirement in July. Britton took that push a step further and revealed that he played three NFL games while high on marijuana.
"NFL games I played stoned were some of the best games I ever played. Cannabis cements your surroundings," Britton told the New York Post. "A lot of people say they’re useless when they smoke weed. But hell, I played NFL games [while stoned], dude. My performances were solid and I felt really good after."
Britton played four seasons in Jacksonville and then two for the Chicago Bears. After the 2015 season, Britton was suspended four games for violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. In an article for Sports Illustrated’s The Cauldron, Britton revealed the suspension was for Ritalin and he documented years of using Adderall, marijuana and other painkillers to get through the week-to-week challenges of the NFL.
In his talk with the New York Post, Britton also said that marijuana was a good way for him to bond with teammates.
"Right after practice, me and one to three other [players] would go to somebody’s house [to get high]," Britton said. "Smoking helped me to socialize with teammates. We let our guards down . . . But a lot of the time [stoned talk] wasn’t even about football. Cannabis took us out of football. We were hanging out and just being people. It brought us closer together as teammates."
Monroe and Britton were part of a 7-9 Jaguars team as rookies and an 8-8 team in 2010. However, the roster fell apart and Jacksonville finished 5-11 during a 2011 season that saw Jack Del Rio get fired as head coach, followed by a 2-14 year in 2012. Britton then left to join the Bears in free agency and Monroe was traded to the Baltimore Ravens during the 2013 season.