Randy Gregory

Randy Gregory Reinstatement Unlikely Until 2018

Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory is unlikely to seek reinstatement from his one-year substance abuse suspension until 2018, sources tell Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. Earlier today, Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports reported the NFL wasn’t expected to reinstate Gregory in November, which is when he’d first be eligible to apply for reinstatement.Randy Gregory (vertical)

Gregory could theoretically apply for re-entry to the NFL 60 days before his ban ends on January 6, but the former second-round pick is still working through personal issues, per Robinson. While at least one report indicated Gregory had failed a drug test in April, he attended a rehab facility over the summer and passed substance tests as late as September of this year. The Cowboys and their security team have been keeping an eye on Gregory, who’s been working out in the Dallas area, according to Robinson.

Given the NFL’s apparent disinterest in clearing Gregory in November, the Cowboys edge defender could take further action in order to convince the league he’s ready to play again. Waiting until 2018 to seek reinstatement could be one such step, while Gregory has also considered undergoing more counseling or serving another stay at rehab, per Robinson.

Gregory, 24, exhibited a variety of off-field question marks heading into the 2015 draft, but the Cowboys selected him in the second round anyway. It’s clear why Dallas overlooked Gregory’s issues, as the Nebraska product managed 16.5 sacks over two collegiate seasons and ranked as a top-10 athlete among edge rushing prospects. But he’s appeared in just 14 games in the NFL (zero starts), and has posted only one professional sack.

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Randy Gregory Fails Another Drug Test?

Randy Gregory is believed to have failed yet another drug test, with TMZ reporting the Cowboys defensive end tested positive for marijuana for the seventh time since entering the league. He’s already surpassed the one-year suspension stage of the NFL’s drug program and now runs the risk of an indefinite suspension.

Some close Gregory associates spoke with TMZ and said they are worried about his well-being. TMZ reports the 24-year-old defender tested positive on Feb. 21 and was notified of such a result on March 2.

The website also reports Gregory’s listed agent, Deryk Gilmore, no longer represents him. More people close to Gregory told TMZ his career could well be over. Gregory also reportedly brushed off league officials who tried to discuss his situation with him.

The Cowboys drafted Taco Charlton in the first round to help a thin edge-rushing contingent, one Gregory was slated to be part of when the team selected him in the second round in 2015. He’s notched just 15 career tackles and one sack, which came in Dallas’ Week 17 game last season.

 

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Randy Gregory Gets One-Year Suspension

The two games Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory played this season will be his last for a while. The NFL has officially suspended Gregory for one year without pay for violating its substance abuse policy.

Randy Gregory (vertical)

The threat of a one-year ban had been hanging over Gregory’s head since he failed a drug test in November. Gregory elected to appeal that failed test, enabling him to take the field during the process, but his hearing with the league this past Tuesday didn’t yield the results he or the Cowboys wanted.

Gregory will now miss the Cowboys’ playoff run, however long it lasts, and all of next season. He’ll have to apply to commissioner Roger Goodell for reinstatement when the suspension expires. The earliest he’ll be able to do that is Nov. 6, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill, who adds that Gregory won’t have access to the Cowboys’ facilities during his suspension (Twitter links).

This is now the third ban in Gregory’s two-year pro career. Each suspension has come from a substance abuse violation, and the first two forced him to sit out the opening 14 games of the Cowboys’ season in 2016. Cognizant of his issues, Gregory checked into a treatment facility last July, but he still hasn’t been able to overcome his problems. The former Nebraska standout entered the league with drug-related concerns, including a failed test at the 2015 scouting combine, which caused his draft stock to plummet. Gregory had first-round talent, but he fell to Round 2, where the Cowboys nabbed him with the 60th overall pick.

Injuries and suspensions have combined to keep Gregory off the field for 18 of 32 regular-season games since his entrance into the pros. While the 24-year-old hasn’t made a significant impact when he actually has played, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has decided to this point that Gregory’s potential outweighs his baggage.

Gregory amassed his first career sack in a Week 17 loss to the Eagles, but that will be his last notable contribution for the foreseeable future.

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NFL To Decide Randy Gregory’s Fate Soon

The NFL will make a decision on whether to suspend Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory within the next seven to 10 days, reports Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. That means Dallas, the NFC’s top seed, will know Gregory’s fate before its Jan. 15 divisional round matchup.

Randy Gregory

Gregory had a Tuesday appeal hearing with the league stemming from a November failed drug test that could trigger a one-year ban. If it does, it would be the third suspension in Gregory’s two-year career. The 2015 second-round pick from Nebraska missed 14 games this season because of his first two suspensions, and it appeared he wouldn’t play at all after his latest failed test. Gregory elected to challenge the ruling, though, which allowed him to return to the field in Week 16. In the only two games he played during the regular season, Gregory racked up nine tackles and his first career sack.

If the league does bar Gregory from participating for the next year, it seems unlikely to affect his status with the Cowboys. Owner Jerry Jones hasn’t shown any willingness to give up on Gregory, whose substance abuse issues date back to his time as a college star. Those problems led Gregory to fall to the draft’s 60th pick, where the Cowboys took a gamble on his upside. Gregory’s on-field impact has been minimal thus far, however, and the Cowboys managed a 13-3 record in 2016 without any significant contributions from the 24-year-old.

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Latest On Cowboys’ Randy Gregory

Randy Gregory is changing agents, a family member tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter), and that process could help him stay on the field for the postseason. Gregory was scheduled for an appeal hearing today (Tuesday), but his lack of representation could result in a postponement. If the hearing is delayed, that could drag out the process and leave us even further from a resolution to his case. And, if he continues to stay in limbo, that could mean that he is free to suit up in the playoffs. Randy Gregory (vertical)

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The agent dropped Gregory and not the other way around, a source tells Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram (on Twitter). However, it went down, the net effect is likely the same: Gregory has a right to a representative in an appeal hearing and it sounds like he can effectively stall until a new rep is in place.

The Cowboys, of course, have a first-round bye. Gregory hopes to be in uniform for Dallas when the divisional round gets underway.

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Extra Points: Marshall, Bortles, Payton

Some assorted notes from around the NFL as we wrap up the night…

  • Despite a down season, Jets wideout Brandon Marshall said that he’s still planning on playing for another five years, writes ESPN.com’s Colin Stephenson. In fact, the 33-year-old suggested that he’d be willing to take a pay cut to stay in New York. “Like I said, it’s not about the money anymore; it’s all about winning,’’ he said. “But I know what I’m worth. I think this team knows what I’m worth, as far as the organization. But it’s not about the money. I’m good. I’m good with the money. I just want to win. That’s all I want to do is win. So I don’t care about anything but winning. That’s it.’’ Marshall is due $7.5MM next season, although the money isn’t guaranteed.
  • Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter said he will bring in competition for kicker Roberto Aguayo, as Jenna Laine of ESPN.com writes. “We’ve got to have competition at every position,” Koetter said Monday. “Nothing’s given and if they’re not the best player, then I can be pretty certain in saying that they won’t be out there.” The Bucs traded back into the second round in 2016 to select the Florida State product, making him the highest-drafted kicker since Mike Nugent. Many criticized the pick but GM Jason Licht later said he assigned Aguayo a first-round grade. The rookie ultimately connected on 71-percent of his field goals this season, the lowest mark in the league.
  • Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles says he played this season with two shoulder separations and wrist tendonitis (Twitter link via Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com). The injuries likely contributed to the 24-year-old’s subpar stats this season. After a breakout campaign in 2015, Bortles threw for 3,905 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions this season.
  • Impending Colts free agent defensive back Darius Butler told Stephen Holder of the Indy Star (on Twitter) he’s ready to transition full time to safety. Butler finished the season with 27 tackles, three interceptions, and one forced fumble.
  • Despite rumors that may say the contrary, Saints head coach Sean Payton said that he plans on coaching the team in 2017, tweets Larry Holder of NOLA.com. Previous reports indicated that the organization would be willing to trade their long-time coach, and the Rams have been noted as a potential destination.
  • Could Cowboys DE Randy Gregory really be back for the playoffs? According to Jon Machota of the Dallas News (via Twitter), the embattled defender will have an appeal hearing in the next week or so to determine whether he’ll be eligible for the postseason. Gregory recently appealed his year-long ban.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Cowboys Activate Randy Gregory

The Cowboys have officially activated Randy Gregory. To make room, defensive end Zach Moore has been waived. Randy Gregory (vertical)

Gregory is now set to make his 2016 season debut against the Lions on Monday night. The move was expected after owner Jerry Jones hinted that Gregory would see lots of playing time as a part of the team’s effort to rest Demarcus Lawrence.

Gregory’s return was not expected after his latest substance abuse policy violation drew a one-year ban. However, Gregory opted to appeal the suspension and he is now free to play while things get worked out. It sounds like the Nebraska product could be able to play as long as the Cowboys stay in it. Given the way Dallas has looked this season, Gregory could be in for a long postseason run with his team.

The Cowboys, of course, have clinched the NFC East, a first-round bye, and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

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Extra Points: Jags, Raiders, Lawrence, FAs

Three-plus years after multiple coaches declined interviews with the Jaguars before Gus Bradley was hired, the north-Florida head-coaching job is generating more buzz. An “overwhelming” degree of interest has emerged for the Jags’ HC vacancy, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.

Florio does not expect coaches to turn down Jags interviews this time and lists Tom Coughlin, Josh McDaniels, Todd Haley, and Anthony Lynn as those to be among the most coveted candidates for head-coaching positions. Doug Marrone could also be a candidate, per Florio, but that’s obviously dependent on what happens for the 2-12 team in the season’s final two weeks. The team’s talent base has increased since the 2013 vacancy, likely leading to the enhanced interest.

Coughlin has been connected to Jacksonville as a front-office cog as well. In a coach, the Jaguars are likely going to want to hear Blake Bortles-related pitches — even if the next coach won’t be forced to play him — due to the franchise spending the No. 3 overall pick on the signal-caller and having closed the book on their previous first-round QB, Blaine Gabbert, so quickly. Having that happen twice in the same half-decade would be deflating for the franchise.

Here’s more from the Jags and the rest of the league.

  • Paul Posluszny is leading the Jaguars in tackles, but the veteran linebacker knows that he might not be back in Jacksonville next year, as ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco writes. “I want to play these last two games as hard as I can knowing that I may not have a future here,” Posluszny said. “You take it one game at a time and say, ‘I’m going to devote everything that I can to these last two games because this might be the last opportunity I get.’” Posluszny is the franchise’s second-leading tackler (904) after six seasons with the club, but those aren’t the numbers that necessarily matter. The 32-year-old is due a $3.95MM base salary plus a $500K roster bonus on the fifth day of the league year (in March). He’s also set to receive a $31K bonus for each game he’s on the active roster, up to $500K. Instead of bringing him back, the Jaguars could give additional playing time to second-round pick Myles Jack.
  • The Raiders are planning to turn to Menelik Watson at right tackle instead of Austin HowardScott Bair of CSNBayArea.com reports. The former second-round pick has been unable to stay healthy, being lost for the season due to injury in 2015 and joining Howard as ailing right-flank protectors this season. Oakland saw three of its starting line make the Pro Bowl, and right guard Gabe Jackson has been solid as well. The right tackle spot has been the only deficiency thus far.
  • The Cowboys will rest Demarcus Lawrence in the next two games, as Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News tweets. “It wouldn’t surprise me if [Randy Gregory] gets a lot of snaps,” owner Jerry Jones said.
  • Brandon Williams, Mario Addison and Ronald Leary are among the looming UFAs who can expected to be paid handsomely, at least when compared to their public perception, Field Yates of ESPN.com writes. Kelechi Osemele helping catalyze the Raiders’ offensive line points to the Cowboys’ left guard being a sought-after player. Leary reclaimed this job after La’el Collins‘ foot injury and has been a top-20 guard in the opinion of Pro Football Focus, and the fourth-year player has seen far more work than well-paid Jaguar right tackle Jermey Parnell was during his time in Dallas. Williams became a space-eating 3-4 nose man despite a Division II background, and Addison now has three straight seasons of at least six sacks. The Panthers’ 40 sacks match the Broncos for the league lead, and Addison’s 7.5 bests their group.

Zach Links contributed to this report.

Latest On Cowboys’ Randy Gregory

The slow wheels of the NFL disciplinary system may favor the Cowboys. Randy Gregory’s appeal of his year-long suspension won’t be until January, at the earliest, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. That means he’ll almost certainly be on the field for at least the start of the playoffs. Randy Gregory (Vertical)

Initially suspended for the bulk of the 2016 season, his latest slip-up threatened to keep him out of the game for the rest of this campaign and the majority of the 2017 season. However, he’ll be permitted to play while the appeals process plays out.

Of course, not every player benefits from the current system that is in place. Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith is still in limbo although he has been eligible for reinstatement for some time now. Smith, understandably, is frustrated with how things have played out, though it is possible that he has not satisfied all of the parameters of the league’s substance abuse program requirements.

Next up for the Cowboys is a Monday night showdown against the Lions. If they win, they’ll clinch the division and a first-round bye.

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Cowboys’ Randy Gregory To Play This Week?

It seemed nearly impossible one month ago, but Randy Gregory is now slated to suit up for the Cowboys as the regular season winds down, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. As previously reported, Gregory will practice this week. Barring league interference, Rapoport hears that he will play this week against Detroit. Randy Gregory (vertical)

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Still appealing a one-year ban, Gregory has been given the green light to participate in team activities while things get sorted out. While some fans have grown impatient with Gregory’s off-the-field troubles, owner Jerry Jones has been steadfast in his support of the defensive end.

I, of course, know the details of his situation, and I can’t and I won’t comment on details about it,” Jones said. “But I am not giving up on Randy Gregory for the Cowboys and certainly not giving up on him as a person in life — at all. Not that it makes any difference that I do, but I do not dismiss him from our future.”

The Cowboys are now 12-2 after topping the Buccaneers on Sunday night. Dallas has clinched a playoff berth and they now have their sights set on locking down the NFC East. With one win in the final two games, they’ll shut the door on the Giants. According to Five Thirty Eight, the Cowboys have a 97% chance of winning the NFC East at this point.

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