Former Miami Dolphins first round pick Dion Jordan is seeking reinstatement from the NFL after past failed drug tests.
Wednesday will be a big day for the Miami Dolphins and their defense for the 2016 NFL season. That is when Dion Jordan will take his first step to returning to the NFL, as he will apply for reinstatement from the NFL.
The 26-year old was the Miami Dolphins first round pick in 2013, when the team traded up to select the Oregon standout third overall. The team had huge dreams of Cam Wake and Jordan becoming a duo for opponents, especially Tom Brady, to fear.
In the first two years of his career, Jordan recorded just 46 tackles and 3 sacks over 26 games. A disappointment for the third overall pick. However, he flashed some potential at other things as well, covering Rob Gronkowski well in coverage against the New England Patriots one game.
Jordan missed six games in 2014 due to consecutive failed drug tests. He got popped once for ecstasy and one time for marijuana.
In his sit down with Tom Pelissero of USA Today, Jordan blamed his decision to turn to drugs on the pressures of performing to his draft selection and contract, though he did not use it as an excuse for why he went down the wrong path.
Jordan, to his credit, understands how significant this opportunity it for him. This is what he had to tell Pelissero about his opportunity at reinstatement
"“I’m not about to waste it. I can’t waste it. And I (expletive) love doing it.”“Who doesn’t love running out in front of 30,000-plus fans and you get that rush? But it’s also things that you can get that rush from that can be very satisfying and can carry you on to a successful life after football.“I just turned 26 years old, so life starts to hit you in the face. Who are you outside of those shoulder pads and helmet? And it’s weird, but I feel like it’s a blessing for me at this point in time to think about it, instead of waiting ‘til they really tell me I can’t play football no more.”"
Jordan does not believe he has ever had a drug problem. He said that he has not used any drugs for more than two years. A diluted sample near the end of the 2014 season resulted in his one-year banishment from the league.
Jordan’s agent, Doug Hendrickson, claims that Jordan had been drinking alcohol before his drug test, not realizing he was being tested for that, so he tried to flush it out of his system.
Hendrickson believes that Jordan has done enough to be reinstated by the NFL, but according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, there is still some fear in his camp until he’s reinstated, “because the power ultimately rests unilaterally in the hands of Commissioner Roger Goodell and there is some measure of subjectiveness to his decision.”
Goodell will make the decision after consulting with doctors recommended from both the league and the players union. The doctors will interview Jordan and make sure he is on the right track.
Goodell will then likely make his decision between one and two months after he receives his application for reinstatement.
In that same piece, Jackson notes that Jordan has taken two tests a week since April 2015 and he has not missed or failed a single drug test in that time.
If Jordan can stay clean for a few more months and then beyond, there is a good chance he can make his comeback to the NFL and the Dolphins before training camp.
While Jordan was drafted as a defensive end and has played most his career at the position, there is a chance he may return to the Dolphins as a linebacker instead.
Cam Wake, Mario Williams, Jason Jones and Andre Branch are currently the top four for the Dolphins at defensive end, but a healthy Dion Jordan does have as much upside as any of those names. That’s especially true if you consider Wake is coming of an Achilles injury and Williams is coming of his worst season of his career.
However, the Dolphins are weak at linebacker. Jelani Jenkins, a fourth round pick in that same 2013 NFL draft, and Kiko Alonso are currently the projected starters for the Dolphins at the position.
Jordan does not mind being flexible, as he told Pelissero that ““I don’t have a problem trying to rush a quarterback or dropping back in coverage.”
This is exactly what you want a player to say, because it shows he will take a second chance seriously.
Because of Jordan’s suspension, his contract with the Dolphins now runs through 2017, with the team owning a player option for 2018. He, however, has a $1.7 million signing bonus due on the fifth day of training camp, which is expected by many to be picked up by the Dolphins if Jordan is indeed reinstated.
Dion Jordan has always been talented. It was a matter of him putting it all together to reach that potential. Unfortunately, failed drug tests almost threw his career off track.
Now Jordan could have the chance to not only give himself a second chance, but also the Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins with Jordan are a better defense, no matter where he plays.