What Will Dolphins Do About Dion Jordan?

Jul 25, 2014; Davie, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan (95) fields questions from reporters after the teams practice at Miami Dolphins Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 25, 2014; Davie, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan (95) fields questions from reporters after the teams practice at Miami Dolphins Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Dolphins have a decision to make with Dion Jordan once he is reinstated by the NFL. Will he be a fit or will the Dolphins look to move on from the troubled player?

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The Miami Dolphins surprised many at the 2013 NFL Draft when they traded up to the 3rd overall pick. The bigger surprise came when Roger Goodell announced Dion Jordan as Miami’s selection. It had been widely expected that the Dolphins would draft an offensive linemen and the reasoning behind why Miami elected to move up. Still, Miami was getting an incredible athlete in Jordan.

His combine results were best among all defensive ends. Miami believed that they could create the greatest duo of pass rushers in the league with Jordan and teammate Cameron Wake. Jordan was already being compared to former Dolphin Jason Taylor and images of the old Dolphin D were becoming envisioned by Dolfans everywhere. Unfortunately, to this point, Jordan has been one of the biggest busts in Dolphins history.

In his first season, Dion Jordan suffered from an apparent shoulder injury that limited his playing ability and room to develop. He saw the field most of the time on special teams and was used as a backup on the defensive front. Jordan played well on special teams in his rookie season but that’s not the kind of production a team is looking for with a top 3 pick. Jordan recorded just 26 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 pass deflections as a rookie, which is statistically his best season.

At the time, the Dolphins could afford to be patient with Jordan’s development and for his shoulder to fully recover. Miami had just drafted Olivier Vernon the previous season, and after a poor rookie outing, Vernon exploded for the Fins in 2013 recording 11.5 sacks. Fans and the organization were hoping for the same kind of production out of Jordan in his sophomore season but it was virtually over before it started.

Just before the start of the season, Jordan failed a drug test and was suspended by the league for the first four games of the season under the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance abuse policy. In September 2014, Jordan failed another drug test extending his suspension to six games. For the remainder of the season,

Jordan was sparingly used behind Wake and Vernon. Fans called for then head coach Joe Philbin to convert Jordan to linebacker but their voices went unheard.

In April 2015, Jordan failed a third drug test, resulting in his suspension for the entire 2015 season. There were rumors prior to Jordan failing his drug test that the Dolphins had a trade in place with the Eagles that would have reunited him with former Oregon head coach, Chip Kelly. The trade fell apart, however, after news broke that Jordan would be suspended for the season. Jordan’s poor judgment in his choices has resulted in his love and passion for the game to come into question.

With Jordan due over $6 million this season in the last year of his rookie contract, Miami would probably like to just cut their losses with him but it’s not that simple. The Dolphins lost Olivier Vernon and Derrick Shelby in free agency, and thus far, have been unsuccessful in restructuring Cameron Wake’s contract. What once looked to be a solid group of pass rushers, the Dolphins now have questions on the edge. Miami did bring in former number one overall pick Mario Williams and former Jaguar Andre Branch but the loss of Vernon is tough to make up.

Simply cutting Jordan, and letting him sign with a team of his choosing (yes, I’m thinking New England), could prove devastating to the Fins for years to come. Many still believe that Jordan has the talent to be great at this level if he can show that he still wants to compete. He can play end and linebacker, both areas that Miami is lacking in depth. New head coach Adam Gase may want to give Jordan another shot, thinking that a new regime could be good for him. If Miami does elect to keep Jordan and he performs well in 2016, they could put themselves in this position again next season whether to re-sign him or not.

Ironically, Jordan’s year-long suspension is up on April 28th, the same day the NFL Draft kicks off. The Dolphins will, undoubtedly, address defensive end at some point in the draft. If they do so in the first round, there’s a good chance we may have our answer to what Miami thinks of giving Dion Jordan one more shot.