After three suspensions in three seasons, Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan will apply to be reinstated by the NFL on Wednesday and hopes to make his return this season, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today. Jordan was the No. 3 overall pick in 2013 but has been suspended three times for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Jordan was suspended for the full 2015 season, and he hadn't been heard from since. The NFL required him to submit a request to be reinstated at the end of the year-long suspension, and Jordan will reportedly officially file that request on Wednesday, although we likely won't hear a ruling until July.
The Dolphins originally traded up to draft Jordan, and many thought he could be the next Jason Taylor when they took him at No. 3. His rookie season was derailed after offseason shoulder surgery and hie missed the first six games of the 2014 season after two failed drug tests. In 10 games in 2014, he had 20 tackles and a sack.
That 10th game was the last one he played, as he was suspended for the entire 2015 season shortly before the 2015 NFL Draft. His NFL future was in question and many thought he may not ever play for the Dolphins again. If he is reinstated, Jordan will be a Stage 3 participant in the league's drug program, and can be given random drug and alcohol tests up to 10 times a month.
To get reinstated, it's likely that Jordan will have to pass any tests given to him by the NFL. It's not specifically stated that Roger Goodell's decision is based on those tests, but it's a safe bet that further failures would prevent his reinstatement to the NFL. He's also made strong statements about his determination to turn around his disappointing career.
"I'm not about to waste it. I can't waste it. And I (expletive) love doing it," Jordan told Pelissero. "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 has just three career sacks and hasn't started a single game in his career. The Dolphins released Damontre Moore, another disappointing defensive end, earlier this offseason. Cameron Wake and Mario Williams, who are 34 and 31 years old, respectively, are the starting defensive ends for the Dolphins. Andre Branch, a free agent signing, was expected to get on the field to relieve the players above.
If Jordan is reinstated and remains with the Dolphins, who retained his rights throughout all this, he still has two years on his rookie contract (2015 did not count) and he could find himself in the rotation quickly just given the players currently on the team and starting.
Jordan was a heavily hyped pass rusher out of Oregon in 2013. He was a first-team All-American in 2012 and was on an Oregon team that won the Pac-12 three seasons in a row.