This week, Dion Jordan will take the first step towards making his return to football. The Dolphins defensive end will apply for reinstatement to the NFL on Wednesday, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports.
Jordan is eligible for reinstatement this year following multiple violations of the league’s substance policy. The Dolphins could theoretically cut the former No. 3 overall pick without being on the hook for what would have previously been guaranteed money, but they’d first like to see if Jordan can fulfill his vast potential. For his part, Jordan says that he’s not going to squander that opportunity if it is given to him.
“I’m not about to waste it. I can’t waste it. And I (expletive) love doing it,” Jordan said. “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.”
Of course, Jordan is not the only notable name to run afoul of the league’s policy on substance abuse. In recent years, Josh Gordon, Justin Blackmon, Martavis Bryant, Aldon Smith, and Daryl Washington have all been sidelined by the NFL and as Jordan has witnessed, those missteps can sometimes be career threatening or ending. The 26-year-old needs to prove that he can stay on the straight and narrow. He also needs to prove that he can produce on the field. Through 26 games in 2013 and 2014, Jordan registered only 46 tackles and three sacks.
Jordan’s reinstatement into the league is not guaranteed, but he seems to have said all of the right things in his conversation with Pelissero. His future with the Dolphins is also uncertain, though the team is reportedly open to giving him another chance because he is talented and, generally, not a bad guy, despite his past mistakes.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.