Source: Smith suspended four games

Updated: September 10, 2009, 12:29 PM ET
By Adam Schefter | ESPN

Former Cleveland Browns veteran defensive tackle Shaun Smith has had a rough week.

It started when the Detroit Lions released him on Saturday night and ended with him being suspended four games for violating the league's anabolic steroid policy, according to a league source.

Since Smith was released, roughly six teams have contacted him about the possibility of signing him. But Smith had to inform each of those teams he will be serving his suspension during the season's first four weeks and he will be available in Week 5, if anyone is interested. Smith also told teams he took a water pill, an over-the-counter, non-performance-enhancing substance.

Water pills are banned under the league's anabolic steroid policy as they are commonly employed to mask steroid use.

Over the past two seasons, Smith started 20 games for the Browns. Shortly after Cleveland released him this summer, Smith signed a one-year, $1.1 million deal with the Lions. It is unclear whether Smith's pending suspension entered into Detroit's decision to release him.

Adam Schefter is an NFL Insider for ESPN.