Randy Gregory

NFL Fully Reinstates Randy Gregory

Given conditional reinstatement last week, Randy Gregory will now be able to practice with the Cowboys at training camp as he attempts a comeback.

The NFL fully reinstated the embattled defensive end on Monday, Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk reports. He’s cleared to practice and play in games, furthering a comeback he didn’t previously believe was possible.

Dallas also has Gregory signed through the 2020 season. Under normal circumstances, Gregory would be entering a contract year since he was a 2015 draft pick. But due to multiple seasons of contract tolling, the Nebraska alum is signed for three more years.

While it’s uncertain if the former second-round pick can make good on this opportunity, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets the NFL liked Gregory’s plan and green-lit a full-scale return to action. The 25-year-old edge defender, suspended indefinitely due to multiple substance-abuse violations, worked a 9-5 job at times this offseason in Dallas but continued to train heavily for a possible comeback.

Gregory has not played since the 2016 regular-season finale and hasn’t played more than two games in a season since his rookie year. He’ll join a mix of pass rushers headlined by DeMarcus Lawrence but also including longtime Cowboy Tyrone Crawford and 2017 first-rounder Taco Charlton. Gregory, though, has a long way to go to make good on his draft status. He has just one sack in 14 games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Gregory, Cowboys, Browns, Jets

In a recent feature, Calvin Watkins of The Athletic took a look at the recently re-instated Randy Gregory‘s long road back to the NFL. On Tuesday, Gregory was allowed back into the league on a conditional basis by the league office. The 2015 second-round pick of the Cowboys has played in just two games since his rookie season due to multiple violations of the league’s substance abuse policy.

Gregory is now reportedly sober and focused on making a return to Dallas. He’s only 25, and the Cowboys could certainly use extra pass-rushing help. Watkins’ article details how Gregory got a regular 9-to-5 job at a Dallas-based business in order to prove he could get his life together. He partnered with attorney Daniel Moskowitz, and continued working out heavily during his extended exile. According to Watkins, Gregory “was in shock” when the league re-instated him, as he didn’t believe he would ever actually make it back. It’s been a tough journey, but it certainly sounds like the former Nebraska standout is ready to make the most of his second chance.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Browns have already made a series of high-profile acquisitions this offseason, but they may not yet be done adding to the team. GM John Dorsey “loves to be aggressive” and may look to make a move or two in the coming weeks, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal. Ulrich notes Cleveland “could use pass-rush help” and that he wouldn’t rule out the team adding a veteran defensive tackle or free safety.
  • Darryl Slater of NJ.com took a stab at projecting the Jets initial 53-man roster, and had a few interesting predictions. Notably, he predicts the Jets will end up keeping all three of Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, and Teddy Bridgewater. He also thinks notable players like running back Thomas Rawls, tight end Clive Walford, and wide receiver Charone Peake will end up getting cut.
  • In case you missed it, here’s the latest on Raiders star Khalil Mack and the negotiations between the two sides as he enters the final year of his rookie contract.

 

Extra Points: Cardinals, Cooks, Gregory, Manhertz, McCluster

Larry Fitzgerald will be back for a 15th season in Arizona, and the long-time Cardinals wideout is set to hit free agency next offseason. Of course, the future Hall of Famer can’t envision himself playing elsewhere, as he essentially told Jace Frederick of TwinCities.com that he’d hang up his cleats if he wasn’t retained by Arizona.

“If I’m not playing in Arizona, I won’t be playing anywhere,” he said. “I’ve built a good life for myself down there. Playing in the same place for 15 years is a true blessing.”

Fitzgerald is one of only two players (along with Antonio Brown) to compile 100 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards over the past three seasons. Despite turning 35 years old this fall, Fitzgerald says he isn’t slowing down.

“It doesn’t really matter about the age, it’s about what you put into it and your mind-set,” he said. “Everybody kind of takes numbers and assumes this is when it’s supposed to end. As an athlete, fortunately, you write your own script. If you still produce and you play at a high level, you kind of determine how long you want to play. If I can stay at a high level, I still keep destiny in my own hands.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFL…

  • We learned earlier today that wideout Brandin Cooks had inked a five-year, $80MM extension with the Rams. NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora tweets that the new deal contains $20.5MM in guaranteed money and a $50.5MM injury guarantee. NFL.com’s Albert Breer clarifies (via Twitter) that the deal will actually total $81MM, with the $16.2MM average annual value trailing only Brown, Mike Evans and DeAndre Hopkins.
  • Cardinals general manager Steve Keim pleaded guilty today to extreme DUI, and the Cardinals subsequently fined and suspended the executive. Kent Somers of AZCentral tweets that there won’t be an interim general manager during Keim’s absence, as the team will ultimately divide his responsibilities. Terry McDonough will likely handle the “evaluation side,” while Mike Disner will focus on contracts and the cap. Somer adds that Keim won’t face further discipline from the NFL.
  • Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tweets that Keim’s suspension “doesn’t preclude” the Cardinals from working out a long-term deal with running back David Johnson, echoing that Disner would likely negotiate the contract. The Pro Bowler skipped mandatory minicamp last month as he looks for a raise on his $1.8MM base salary.
  • Panthers tight end Chris Manhertz will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list, reports Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. The 26-year-old underwent offseason surgery after suffering a Jones fracture in his left foot. The team is hopeful that Greg Olsen‘s primary backup will be ready for the start of the regular season. As Person points out, Manhertz’s absence will provide fourth-rounder Ian Thomas with an opportunity to contribute during training camp.
  • Earlier today, the NFL reinstated Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory on a conditional basis. Naturally, after appearing in only two games over the past two seasons, the 25-year-old is excited about the prospect of returning to the NFL. “I’m very excited,” Gregory said (via the Dallas News’ Jon Machota on Twitter). “Thanks to the ones who supported me and stood by me. It’s a lot more to the story than it seems and it took me a lot to get to this point. Now I’m ready to make some plays.”
  • Former NFL running back Dexter McCluster has caught on with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL (via CFL.ca). The 29-year-old played in six games with the Chargers during the 2016 season. During his four years with the Chiefs, McCluster compiled 662 rush yards, 1,500 receiving yards, and more than 2,000 return yards.

Cowboys Have Randy Gregory Through 2020

When the Cowboys drafted Randy Gregory in 2015, his four-year rookie deal had him on course for free agency after the 2019 season. However, thanks to multiple suspensions, Gregory will be under club control for longer. 

[RELATED: NFL Reinstates Cowboys’ Randy Gregory]

Gregory’s deal with the Cowboys now runs though 2020, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com (on Twitter) notes. Gregory, who was reinstated on Tuesday, will have his first opportunity to test the open market at the age of 27.

The Nebraska product was a highly-touted prospect heading into the 2015 draft, but he has compiled 15 tackles and one sack thus far in a suspension-riddled career. The length of Gregory’s contract won’t have much meaning to the Cowboys or any other team in the league unless he can perform at a high level in 2018 and stay on the right path.

The Cowboys will start DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford at defensive end, but Gregory could see time as a reserve along with Richard Ash and Jihad Ward. The Cowboys’ season kicks off on Sept. 9 against the Panthers.

In other Cowboys news, Lawrence reportedly does not want to play on a second franchise tag in 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys’ Randy Gregory Reinstated

Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory has been reinstated on a conditional basis, according to an announcement from the NFL. Gregory will be permitted to be with the team in training camp. After that, he’ll be able to take part in regular season practices and games if he continues to be in compliance with the NFL’s substance abuse policy. 

This marks a massive victory for Gregory, who was previously banished from the NFL. Most banished players do not earn the right to return, but Gregory has been welcomed back after going through therapy and getting clean.

The former second-round pick will be in Stage 3 of the league substance abuse program for the next two years, which means that he will be subject to frequent random testing. He’s more or less in a zero-tolerance zone at this point, so a failed or missed test could be a career-ender.

The Cowboys would love for Gregory to be a contributor right away in his return. David Irving is suspended for the first four games of the season and fellow defensive tackle Maliek Collins isn’t a lock to return for the Cowboys‘ Week 1 contest. Gregory could give the Cowboys some much-needed defensive line support off of the bench, which could help to offset their early-season losses on the interior.

Gregory was a highly-touted prospect heading into the 2015 draft, but a failed marijuana test caused his draft stock to fall. In 14 career games, the defensive end has compiled 15 tackles and one sack. The Cowboys will hope for the best when it comes to Gregory, but it’s not exactly clear what kind of player he can be for them.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Cowboys, Gregory, Jets

The Cowboys are hoping to learn about the fate of Randy Gregory around the start of training camp, Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets. Gregory recently met with NFL officials in New York, but things have been quiet on that front over the last couple of weeks.

Dallas could use some clarity on the makeup of its defensive line, particularly as David Irving faces a four-game suspension for a violation of the substance abuse policy. It’s highly unlikely that Gregory would be plugged into the starting lineup, but he would be a useful reserve behind starters DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford if he is allowed to play.

Here’s more from the East divisions:

  • The Redskins won’t necessarily miss wide receiver Terrelle Pryor after his disappointing 2017 season, but they will have to make up for the departure of Ryan Grant. Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington believes that newcomer Paul Richardson can easily top Pryor’s 240 receiving yards, but exceeding Grant’s 573 yards receiving may be a challenge. Ultimately, he expects one of the team’s backup wide receivers to step up while Josh Doctson improves across the board. All in all, he anticipates a wide receiver group that is somewhat more productive than last year, even as they catch passes from a new quarterback.
  • This is a make or break year for Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum, Brian Costello of the New York Post writes. Beachum has two years to go on the three-year, $24MM deal he inked in 2017, but the Jets can cut him after this season and save $8MM in cap space versus just $1.5MM in dead money. If he wants to stick in New Jersey, he’ll have to step his game up. Last year, Pro Football Focus ranked Beachum as its 35th best tackle. He did well in pass protection (18th), but he placed just 71st in run blocking.
  • Will Giants running back Saquon Barkley make the biggest impact of any top ten pick this year? Click here to cast your vote.

Cowboys’ Randy Gregory To Meet With NFL

Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory is set to meet with the NFL this week, sources tell ESPN.com’s Todd Archer. Gregory is expected to speak with several NFL officials, potentially including commissioner Roger Goodell, in New York to discuss his reinstatement. 

Gregory is being represented by Daniel Moskowitz, who also represented former Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington as he gained reinstatement last year. Teammates Tyrone Crawford, Sean Lee, and Jeff Heath also wrote letters in support of Gregory to the NFL. The support of Cowboys players and brass may help his efforts to get back into the league.

He is one the smartest people to have played this game,” owner Jerry Jones said recently. “This is a tremendous step. He has had that same IQ since he has had these issues. That’s an issue. This is definitely a medical issue. There is no doubt in my mind about the medical. That is another campaign. It’s a pretty circuitous route. It has a lot of discretionary things to determine. There is a lot of subjectiveness. But he is doing very well. He’s got a lot to play for. He has a new baby. He has a lot going for him. He is very astute about knowing that. He has to do what a lot of us have had to do and that is to do better at 24 and 25 than when you were 20.”

The NFL’s substance-abuse policy states that once the reinstatement paperwork has been filed, “all individuals involved in the process will take steps to enable the commissioner to render a decision within 60 days of the receipt of the application.” There have been times where that time frame has been extended, but barring that, we should be getting a resolution on Gregory this summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Cowboys DE Randy Gregory

Today, Cowboys Vice President Stephen Jones provided a brief update on Randy Gregory. While the executive didn’t have a lot of news regarding the suspended player’s reinstatement, he did indicate that the process was “proceeding.” This would provide some optimism that the defensive end could return in time for training camp.

“You know, I know it’s proceeding,” Jones told Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Dallas Star-Telegram. “We don’t have anything to report differently, other than that I know he’s wanting to move forward with the appeal. I don’t really have anything new to report on that front, other than that. I know he’s done the application process, but I’m pretty sure he hasn’t had the actual appeal. It’s in the league’s hands.”

The embattled 25-year-old applied for reinstatement last week, and the NFL has 60 days to approve the application. The 2015 second-rounder initially earned a pair of suspensions during his rookie campaign, forcing him to miss 14 total games. Gregory returned late in the 2016 campaign, but he was subsequently slapped with at least a full-year ban for a failed test and a missed test. The Nebraska product recently spent more than one month in intensive rehab for drug and alcohol use, and he’s also received counseling.

Gregory was a highly-touted prospect heading into the 2015 draft, but a failed marijuana test caused his draft stock to fall. In 14 career games, the defensive end has compiled 15 tackles and one sack.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Pats, Eagles, Gregory, Redskins

Josh McDaniels said recently his role remains the same, despite Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick helping to convince him to stay and thus spurn the Colts. But the longtime Patriots offensive coordinator’s presence in what’s generally a “notoriously small” draft room was indeed an expansion of McDaniels’ responsibilities, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. Although many teams may have written McDaniels off after his controversial flip-flop, he was a perennial fixture in HC carousels leading up to his 11th-hour decision to back out of a Colts deal. But the 42-year-old assistant insists he still wants to be a head coach, and taking part in draft-day proceedings would stand to further bolster those hopes.

Here’s the latest from the Easts:

  • The surgery Brandon Graham underwent will keep him out for the entirety of the Eagles‘ offseason program. Graham is hopeful he will be ready for training camp, per Les Bowen of Philly.com. The 30-year-old defensive end decided to go under the knife to accelerate the healing process from a troublesome high ankle sprain suffered on Christmas night. Graham remains in pursuit of an Eagles extension. His contract expires after the 2018 season.
  • Mychal Kendricks also underwent offseason surgery, per Bowen. The veteran linebacker and perpetual trade-block mainstay had minor ankle surgery. This duo follows Timmy Jernigan and Derek Barnett among Eagles defenders to undergo offseason procedures.
  • Arie Kouandjio will undergo surgery, but his recovery time will be far longer than the Eagles’ spate of defensive players who opted for operations. The Redskins guard suffered an injury which Ian Rapoport of NFL.com is calling a partially torn quadriceps and will soon have surgery (Twitter link). It’s unclear at this point how long Kouandjio will be out, but Rapoport notes the recovery time will likely be several months. A recent report pegged Kouandjio as a possible IR candidate, but after this update categorizes the malady as a partially torn quad, the interior blocker may be able to avoid such a distinction.
  • Randy Gregory will apply for reinstatement soon, and Matt Miller of Bleacher Report notes a Cowboys front office source is optimistic the defensive end will be reinstated this year. Popped for repeated violations of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, the former second-round pick has only played two games since the 2015 season.

Randy Gregory To Apply For Reinstatement

Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory will formally apply for reinstatement on Thursday, sources tell NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Reinstatement rulings are typically delivered within a 60-day window, so Gregory could be cleared in time for training camp. 

Gregory recently spent more than six weeks in intensive rehab for drug and alcohol use and has also received counseling to combat his issues. Teammate Tyrone Crawford has told the league that it would be best for Gregory’s recovery if he is allowed back in football and Gregory’s camp is likely to make a similar argument.

The Cowboys are hopeful that Gregory will be allowed to play in 2018, but they are not banking on his return either.

I am not confident [in Gregory being reinstated], but I do see where his heart is,” owner Jerry Jones said recently. “He is one the smartest people to have played this game. This is a tremendous step. He has had that same IQ since he has had these issues. That’s an issue. This is definitely a medical issue. There is no doubt in my mind about the medical. That is another campaign. It’s a pretty circuitous route. It has a lot of discretionary things to determine. There is a lot of subjectiveness. But he is doing very well. He’s got a lot to play for. He has a new baby. He has a lot going for him. He is very astute about knowing that. He has to do what a lot of us have had to do and that is to do better at 24 and 25 than when you were 20.”

Some felt that Gregory had top 10 talent heading into the 2015 draft, but he slid to the Cowboys in the second round following a positive test for marijuana at the combine. So far, the Nebraska product has notched just 15 career tackles. He has one sack to his credit, which came in Dallas’ 2016 season finale. He has not taken the field since.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.