It’s been an offseason full of positive news for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers so far. That is, perhaps until now as a video has surfaced of what appears to be Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III smoking what could be marijuana, although the content of whatever he is smoking is obviously unknown, at this time, so it could be something else. Regardless, it’s not a good look for the 2016 first-round pick that is struggling to maintain a starting job in Tampa Bay. There is no time stamp on the video and it is unclear if it was taped recently or some time ago in the past.

The video comes from an Instagram account that was created just a few days ago with a handle similar to that of Hargreaves’ official account, and appears to be a fake account. The video has been posted twice on the page itself and once in the account’s Instagram story. UPDATE: the account has since been deleted.

The video reaching the pubic is likely a scenario much similar to the one offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil faced on draft night just a few years ago. During that evening, a clip was released of Tunsil smoking pot through a gas mask just minutes before the 2016 NFL Draft was about to begin. Both of these videos, Tunsil’s and allegedly Hargreaves’, are likely only in the public eye because of slanderous motives by those who obtained them, trying to make the players look bad.

Marijuana is legal in some states, but is considered to be a banned substance by the NFL. The league randomly gives drug tests to its players and a positive test can result in the player being put into the NFL’s substance abuse program, and can lead to a possible suspension.

The Bucs were still expecting big things from Hargreaves in 2018 and were going to likely give him a chance to start opposite Brent Grimes again as an outside cornerback, but at the very worst be their starting nickel defender, according to Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter, who just defended Hargreaves at the NFL Owners Meeting in Orlando, Fla. on Tuesday.

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter and CB Vernon Hargreaves – Photo by: Mark LoMoglio/PR
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter and CB Vernon Hargreaves – Photo by: Mark LoMoglio/PR

“We need Vernon to come back and play well and I think he will,” Koetter said. “Two things about Vernon. One, he had the hamstring injury, which lingered a long time. Vernon did not have a great year outside. Vernon played good at nickel and you’re in nickel 65 percent of the time. If Vernon was your starting nickel and you had another guy you liked at the other corner opposite Grimes, there is not a team in the league that wouldn’t like to have Vernon Hargreaves as their nickel. Now you usually don’t pick a guy in the first round to be your nickel, but you know, stuff works out how it works out. Vernon is going to be a big part of what we do. I know he’s anxious to get started and he wants to be an every down player, but at the very least, Vernon’s going to be our starting nickel.”

If this video is what it looks like it could be, those plans may change — and quickly — including who Tampa Bay might prioritize in the 2018 NFL Draft. One of the possible considerations at No. 7 is Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward, who is regarded as the top cover cornerback in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The Buccaneers have no comment at this time.

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Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]

39 COMMENTS

  1. Thats a fucking cigar! Ive never seen a blunt rolled that big

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    • That isn’t a cigar my friend. I’v never met anyone that actually inhales a cigar. That’s weed, and hes a moron for letting someone tape him while he’s doing it. Now my personal stance is that it should be legal everywhere, but this is just mind numbingly dumb.

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      • And on a side note, the account was faked and this could’ve been college footage for all we know. SO there is that side of it as well.

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  2. I’ll be the 1st to say, A professional ball player smoking Pot is not a good look. Especially in Public. But I betcha about 60 to 75% of major league ball players smoke it. I knew a former Jets DB who played in the league for 12 years. He said its the best thing for pain. And he..had a lot of it (still does in his late 40’s). I’m not justifying it. Just saying I hope once the feds figure out how to get their cut out of it, they go ahead and make it legal. And Yes, Hargreaves should know to do this in the privacy of his home or in a private setting. But surprised? Nope..I’m not.

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    • Agreed 100%. The NFL would legalize it is Big Pharma wasn’t making so much money shoving addictive pain killers down players throats.

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  3. Oh my God. No!!!!

    I smoked marijuana one time and it made me want to rape and kill.

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    • It brought out your true “inner beast”. 😉

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      Go Bucs!!!!!

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    • Check the guy you brought it from. Or other who maybe smoked the same stuff. You smoked a stash that either had something like a halluciogenice added to it or was dipped in something. ,,Or..You are Lying!!

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  4. I have never smoked weed before, but honestly who cares? the stuff about to be legalized in more places soon and has shown pretty good results in pain management. hargraves gives himself away with that dumb hair cut.. Im more offended by that.

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  5. Not really worried about it. Its not from his official account so obviously its some troll trying to make him look bad. It may or may not be pot and who knows how old this video is. Could have been taken years ago.

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  6. Who did he piss off ?

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  7. The slanderous motives could be someone with a personal vendetta or someone trying to influence the Buccaneers’ draft plans for some reason.

    I truly hope this gets clarified soon. If I assume that Hargreaves is innocent or that this was dug up from his pre-NFL days then I would be upset. Even with the general public’s more liberal attitude concerning pot these days, this could have an adverse effect on the young man’s career. I am sure he has enough on his plate already with the perceived step backward with last season’s performance.

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    Go Bucs!!!!

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  8. Even though I dont think marijuana is a big deal, I still think hes an idiot for doing this. If it is indeed a blunt.

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  9. Bucs should have been looking to upgrade defensive back positions based on the poor play on the field. This is another negative check mark for VHIII. Frankly his play has not convinced me that he will eventually succeed in the NFL.

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  10. all they’re gonna do is bring in another DB that smokes weed… might as well keep him 😂😂😂😂

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  11. Pot is not illegal in some states but is here! So VH3 this how you spend your time when your job is on the line.

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  12. Who gives a crap?

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  13. Also, there were red flags raised about Warren Sapp and marijuana use prior to his NFL draft. The Buccaneers took him at pick 12 if I remember correctly. Whatever the validity of the stories at the time Sapp managed to “keep his nose clean” during his outstanding career.

    His personal flaws seem to have plagued him since he retired if I go by public reports. I still love the man!
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    Go Bucs!!!!

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    • I knew two different people that ran in different circles that they smoked pot with Sapp. Both personally told me that they had been to Sapp’s house with friends that knew him. These people didn’t know each other and were separate incidents. They were years apart but during his Buc playing days in the off-season. He told them that he never did it during the season.

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    • Sapp was a great player, VH3 is not.

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  14. It won’t be long now before the young people realize maybe cell phones aren’t so hot after all and will restrict how they use them. Nowadays people can create and throw out anything they want to for the public to view whether it’s made up or not.
    Glad I’m not addicted to texting, selfies, facebooking, twittering, and all that other stuff.

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    • I’m surprised you even know those words my friend. I can’t keep up with the meaning of all of the letters except LOL. In our day doing a “selfie” had a whole different meaning. Come to think of it so does “twittering” now. Guess that’s why they make Depends.

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  15. when stuff like this happens, i recall the video of the greatest olympian ever – michael phelps – getting caught taking a bong hit. this was in between 2 olympics where he kicked the whole world’s butt at swimming. a pro athlete is a grown adult for whom consuming cannabis impacts only one person – the consumer. you could make the specious argument that it affects their families or teammates if they smoke themselves out of a job but by that rationale a guy can hurt his teammates and career prospects in any number of ways from poor diet and sleep habits to violent criminal activity. to make this specific lifestyle choice a character or career-defining one is dogmatic and hypocritical given all the things people are otherwise free to do

    that being said, the rules are very clear and athletes are risking reputation, playing time, and financial opportunity if they get caught. It’s dumb but so are many of the rules the NFL imposes and yet they are part of a collectively bargained agreement and in that sense it is not “unfair”

    personally i see this as a blip. if VH3 is not a buc this time next year or if he fails to score a second contract with the bucs, it will be because he failed to produce as a starter and not because of a video posted to instagram

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  16. Probably posted by Denzel Ward’s agent.

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    • Yes! I do love that king of conspiracy thinking! But, remember, free agent corner backs also have agents. 🙂

      Dumb to get filmed, and obviously a betrayal of some kind. Thinking back, I am kind of glad I came along way before smart phones with cameras. Whew!

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  17. EasytheGreat, haven’t you ever seen a Cheeck and Chong movie?
    Michael Wright, he wasn’t smoking whatever it is in public, he appears to be in a house.
    gafikdetail, how true.
    And how can you tell that is even Hargreaves for gods sakes.
    So “if” it is him and he is smoking pot, who cares.
    Are we supposed to shocked and appalled that an NFL player might be smoking the green nowadays.
    Still, it might explain why Hargreaves coverage was so passive and mellow last year,
    In the meantime, all this video shows me is if it is Hargreaves, he needs to make better inter personal relationship choices,
    Yawn.

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  18. So, Now CB is in play for the 7th pick?

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    • I think if they trade back, it will most likely be to target a CB. Mike Hughes at 12 or (better yet) 22, would be a VERRRRRRY good look

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  19. Ay Vern, if you’re ever in NY hit me! Next one is gonna be a celebratory blunt in February on me. Go Bucs!

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  20. Alright, well they most likely aren’t going to move him. Bucs have proven loyal to guys on their roster who have made mistakes but pass the PR test.

    Still, poor look for a guy who should be doing everything in his power to impress. Assuming it was filmed recently, it makes you question his mindset.

    VH3 needs to stay away from negative news and come out next year playing with the intensity he showed in college.

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  21. Who cares man? If he sucks again this season it won’t be because of whatever he was smoking here period?

    I care about what he is going to do on the field and he gets random drug tests.

    People just want stories to talk about, I want wins!!!!!!!!

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  22. I gotta feeling his dad, who is a linebacker coach for Missouri, is gonna kick Jr’s ass to China and back when he sees this.

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  23. Fake news

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  24. Who cares? I guess Bucs fans should care because the league will hand down punishments for breaking the law, or demeaning the good reputation of the NFL…like suspending our starting CB.

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  25. If he was good this might be a real story

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  26. Wait…what year is it again? Smoking pot is still an issue in 2018? Ridiculous! Well, first of all it was posted to a fake account pretending to be him so the legitimacy is already in question. Second, there’s no telling when the video was filmed. Barring a positive drug test, I don’t see why we’re even having this conversation.

    Actually, even if he smoked pot today I don’t think it should be an issue. Once the government gets on the same page and figures out how much they’ll make in taxes, pot will be legal nation wide. Then, hopefully gambling will follow close behind. But I digress…this isn’t a political forum.

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  27. Maybe this will help VH3 calm down a bit. He seemed to play too uptight last year.

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  28. Agree scubog……if I were VH3 (playing so below his pay grade) i’d be smoking that wacky weed like crazy…..who knows, maybe
    it will HELP him get after it

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  29. We need to get Mark Cook on this case immediately!

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