Dion Jordan still waits on reinstatement

Dec 1, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan (95) blocks a punt by New York Jets punter Ryan Quigley (4) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 1, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan (95) blocks a punt by New York Jets punter Ryan Quigley (4) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports /

In a somewhat surprising move, the NFL reinstated Josh Gordon on Monday after a history with substance abuse. Now, Dion Jordan awaits to hear his fate after applying for reinstatement back in June.

It’s not a secret that Dolphins DE Dion Jordan has been one of the biggest busts in history since the Dolphins moved up to the 3rd overall pick in 2013 to get him. After having trouble getting on the field in 2013, despite appearing in all 16 regular season games as a rookie, Jordan has been hit with a series of suspensions due to substance abuse.

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Jordan was slapped with a four-game suspension in July 2014 for his first offense. Two months later, Jordan was suspended an additional 2 games for, once again, violating the NFL’s drug policy. Just before the 2015 NFL Draft, Jordan again violated the league’s substance abuse policy and was suspended for the entire 2015 season. Before his suspension, there were rumors circulating that the Dolphins could trade Jordan to the Philadelphia Eagles to unite him with his former college and then Eagles coach Chip Kelly. Talks died completely after the news of Jordan’s suspension broke.

Since then, Jordan has been patiently waiting for an opportunity to return to the league and show the Dolphins (or any team) that he is not the bust that everyone has labeled him to be. Jordan applied for reinstatement on June 1st, but has yet to hear any word from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The NFL has up to two months to make a decision so news will be coming soon.

Meanwhile, Goodell reinstated another player on Monday who has been a consistent abuser of the NFL’s drug policy, Josh Gordon. Gordon’s first violation came in 2013 and he was suspended for two games. He behaved for the remainder of the season but was arrested in July 2014 for driving impaired. Initially, Gordon was suspended for the entire 2014 season but that suspension was eventually reduced to 10 games. The Cleveland Browns suspended Gordon for the final game of the regular season for violating team rules.

Gordon committed his third offense, this time for alcohol because he was still on probation, and was suspended for the entire 2015 season. He applied for reinstatement in January 2016, but that was denied after failing another drug test with a diluted sample. It was expected that Gordon would not be eligible for reinstatement until August 1st. However, Gordon and Goodell had a meeting earlier in the week and Goodell elected to reinstate Gordon then. Gordon will be suspended for the first four games of the season.

It seems a bit unfair that Gordon was reinstated before Jordan since his last situation just occurred in January and Jordan, by all accounts, has been on good behavior since the announcement of his suspension in April of last year. Terms of Jordan’s contract states that the Dolphins must pay Jordan a roster bonus of nearly $1.7 million if he is on the team by the fifth day of training camp. However, the Dolphins are no longer obligated to pay Jordan’s roster bonuses because of his repeated offenses that violate his contract.

Gordon’s reinstatement could be seen as a good sign for Jordan’s chances as well. His nose has been relatively clean this past year and maybe Goodell’s in a good mood this week. The Dolphins could really benefit with Jordan’s reinstatement. They need all the help they can get on the defensive side of the ball. They added Mario Williams to their front four this off-season to pair with Cameron Wake, but Jordan can provide quality depth that the Dolphins so desperately need. The Dolphins could even use him at linebacker, should they choose, a position that lacks depth even further.

Prior to the announcement of Gordon’s reinstatement, I had already believed that Jordan would eventually be reinstated by the league before the start of the season. Now it is almost a certainty.  Granted, Gordon’s violations are mainly related to marijuana, which the league doesn’t treat like other drugs. But Jordan’s been good for over a year now and done the right things to qualify for reinstatement.

Jordan is anxious to get back on the field and get started with rookie head coach Adam Gase and his teammates. He wants to show the team that moved up to get him that they were not wrong in doing so. It’s not too late for Jordan to prove to his team, and Dolphins fans everywhere, that he is not the waste of first round talent that we’ve seen him to be in his first few seasons.