9:07pm: As of 9pm CT, the suspended players still have not been informed of their reinstatement, tweets Jay Glazer of FOX Sports. That could just be a formality, but that can’t be safely assumed given the number of false alarms we’ve had over the last couple of weeks.
7:39pm: The NFL has begun informing players they’ve satisfied terms of suspensions and are reinstated, which is an indication that the new drug policy is finally finished, tweets Ed Werder of ESPN.com. The agreement on a new policy should mean an instant reinstatement for Wes Welker and Orlando Scandrick (link). Meanwhile, the new policy means that it’ll officially be a ten game suspension for Josh Gordon, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.
While Gordon, Welker, and Scandrick were probably the three biggest names waiting on a new drug policy, there are others that could potentially be affected by a revamped policy. Ravens safety Will Hill, Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner, and Dion Jordan and Reshad Jones of the Dolphins are just some of the players that could also conceivably be back in action with a change to the policy. Others, like Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson, probably won’t be reinstated, however.
In the case of Gordon, the new policy is good news for both his immediate football future and long-term finances. If Gordon isn’t given an additional suspension for his DUI, he can hit the open market after the 2015 season by playing in the Browns’ final six games this season. If he were to be suspended for an additional two games for the DUI, he wouldn’t earn that accrued season, meaning the Browns would get an extra year of team control on him. Earlier today we learned that the DUI won’t result in an automatic two-game timeout, but the NFL could still slap him with a suspension for the DUI given his track record of substance problems.