The 49ers and Seattle Seahawks carried over their rivalry from last season into the offseason.
The Seahawks made a splash in free agency with the additions of receiver Percy Harvin and defensive linemen Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. The 49ers acquired wide receiver Anquan Boldin in a trade and added 11 players in the draft.
But the 49ers have no interest in keeping pace with Seattle when it comes to league-imposed suspensions.
An NFL-worst five players on the Seahawks have been suspended for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs since December 2011. One player associated with the 49ers was suspended during that same timeframe.
Another Seattle player, cornerback Richard Sherman, won his appeal of a four-game suspension last season due to irregularities in the testing process.
On Monday, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll reacted after defensive end Bruce Irvin was suspended for the first four games of the season due to his admitted use of Adderall.
"It's serious. It's real serious," Carroll said to reporters after the first day of Seahawks organized team activities. "And we need to let you know that we understand that."
Irvin, who recorded eight sacks as a rookie, will miss the Seahawks' Week 2 game against the 49ers. In two games against the 49ers last season, Irvin was a non-factor with a total of two tackles.
A year ago, cornerback Brandon Browner sat out against the 49ers due to a suspension, reportedly for testing positive for Adderall. It made little difference, as the Seahawks defeated the 49ers 42-13 in Seattle.
Seahawks offensive linemen John Moffitt and Allen Barbre, and safety Winston Guy have also been suspended for PEDs within the past 18 months.
Carroll said Irvin's suspension makes the Seahawks reevaluate how they're getting the message across to their players.
"Continually, because it's not right, yet," Carroll said. "We all know that there are big issues, we all know that. It's not just here, it's just in this sport. It's in all sports. It's in schools. It's everywhere. And we have to figure it out and try to help, through education and through all of the ways that we can, and we will always compete to find more creative ways to make the message clear."
The Seahawks face the possibility of a fine due to the multiple suspensions, according to an NFL spokesman.
Linebacker Larry Grant, who remains unsigned as a free agent, is the only 49ers player during that period suspended for PEDs. He tested positive late in the season and his four-game suspension, beginning Week 1 of the regular season, was announced in April.