Dion Jordan will miss the entire 2015 season after he violated the NFL’s drug policy for the third time in two years, cementing the former third overall pick’s place among the biggest draft busts in Dolphins history.
“We were disappointed to learn about Dion Jordan’s most recent suspension for violating the NFL’s Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse,” the team said in a written statement. “A player’s health and well-being are of the utmost importance to us. We have made every effort to support Dion, both on and off the field, and we will continue to do so to the extent allowable under NFL guidelines.”
The Dolphins have known about the looming suspension, which will be unpaid, for some time. During a regular drug test following his 2014 suspension, Jordan provided a diluted sample — a sign he tried to hide whatever was in his system.
The latest mishap for Jordan, who served a six-game suspension after two failed tests in 2014, calls into question whether the underachieving defensive end will ever suit up again for the Dolphins. Jordan has just three sacks in 26 career games — an awful return on the team’s investment.
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Miami packaged the 12th and 42nd overall pick in 2013 to trade up for Jordan, who was never a great fit in the team’s system. He was said to be unhappy with both his role on the team and perceptions that he was a massive disappointment. Jordan believed his talents were best suited at linebacker. The coaching staff disagreed, wanting him to again line up at defensive end this season.
Instead, he will play nowhere. Jordan will not appeal the suspension, a source told the Miami Herald.
Questions about his availability for the coming season arose last week, when Jordan was the only player not to report for the Dolphins’ voluntary workouts. Team officials declined to comment on the situation when they met with reporters on Friday.
If there is a silver lining for the Dolphins, it’s this: Jordan’s suspension will free up roughly $3 million in 2015 cap space. And the Dolphins are relatively deep at defensive end, with Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, Derrick Shelby and Terrence Fede set to split up the snaps. And if the Dolphins plan to move on from Jordan after his suspension is complete, the freed-up money could be used to re-sign Vernon, who is in line to become a free agent next year.
The Dolphins could try to recoup some of the Jordan’s roughly $12.5 million signing bonus, but any credit they would get from that wouldn’t be applied until 2016.
“Yes, the Dolphins have good case to recover portion of Jordan’s signing bonus,” ESPN business analyst Andrew Brandt wrote on Twitter. “As to actually getting back the money, good luck with that.”
When his six-game suspension was announced last September, Jordan checked into a substance-abuse treatment center and said he was “working to become a better man and to make better choices in the future.”
Upon his return to the team, Jordan said that Dolphins fans “should be confident I’m drug free.”
And a month later, Jordan told the Miami Herald that when he lost his way, he was ignoring the support system he had in place — a mistake he was working to rectify.
“I know what type of person I am,” Jordan said in November. “I can’t lie to you. I’ve made some mistakes. I’ve made some choices in the past that really didn’t benefit me in the long run, but it’s in the past.”
Miami Herald sportswriter Armando Salguero contributed to this report.
The Dolphins traded two selections in the 2013 NFL Draft for an opportunity to select Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan. A look at his production with Miami during his two years:
*Served a two-game suspension and a four-game suspension