Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan, suspended since April 2015 for violating the NFL’s substance policy, told USA Today that he will apply for reinstatement on Wednesday.
Agent Doug Hendrickson told USA Today — and a member of the Jordan camp told The Miami Herald — that they believe Jordan has done everything necessary to be reinstated.
But the source in the Jordan camp said there will be some concern until he’s reinstated because the power ultimately rests unilaterally in the hands of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and there is some measure of subjectiveness to his decision.
Goodell will make the decision after receiving a recommendation from doctors jointly selected by the players union and league. Those doctors will interview Jordan, who also must sign a medical release form.
Goodell’s decision is expected between one and two months after his application for reinstatement.
Hendrickson told USA Today that he has no reason to think Jordan won’t be reinstated.
“To me,” Hendrickson said, “he should be a blueprint for the NFL system of guys being out for a year in terms of what he’s been doing and how he’s come on of late.”
And the Dolphins have indicated they’re prepared to welcome Jordan back if he’s reinstated.
Hendrickson told USA Today that Jordan has been tested twice a week and he has not failed or missed a drug test since he was suspended in April 2015.
USA Today did the interview in the San Francisco office of Tariq Azim, who has been training Jordan.
“I’m not about to waste it,” Jordan said of his potential opportunity to get back in the NFL. “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.”
Some other highlights from the USA Today piece:
▪ Jordan says he “never, ever” had a drug problem. But he was suspended six games in 2014 after testing positive once for ecstasy and one for marijuana.
“Like a lot of rookies, you enjoy being a professional for the first time and having that cloud or whatever,” Jordan said. “I realized that’s not what it’s about. I realized real quick once I got in trouble.”
▪ Jordan says he stopped using drugs months before he gave the diluted sample near the end of the 2014 season.
So how did that happen? USA Today said, “according to Hendrickson, Jordan had been drinking alcohol and didn’t know he wasn’t being tested for that, so he tried to flush it out of his system.”
▪ Jordan, 6-6, is now a bit under 270 pounds. The past Dolphins regime thought he was better suited to defensive end, not linebacker, because they didn’t want to clutter his mind and wanted him to focus on rushing the quarterback (with some responsibilities in pass coverage).
But that might be revisited because the Dolphins have more of a need at linebacker than end. They’re set with their top four ends: Cameron Wake, Mario Williams, Jason Jones and Andre Branch.
Jordan, the third overall pick of the 2013 draft, has three sacks and 46 tackles in 26 games over two seasons. He has done good work in pass coverage, especially against tight ends such as Rob Gronkowski, so there would be an ability to move to linebacker if the Dolphins choose to change his position.
The Dolphins have been reluctant to discuss much of anything about Jordan, let alone the prospect of a position change.