Dion Jordan, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 draft by the Miami Dolphins, will apply for reinstatement to the NFL this week after having missed the 2015 season serving a suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Jordan, 26, was suspended for a minimum of one year in April 2015, and his agent told USA Today that the defensive end has passed two drug tests a week since that time.
The 6-foot-6, 270-pounder proved to be an athletic wonder at the University of Oregon and at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine but fell flat in his first two seasons as a pro. He battled a shoulder injury during his rookie year and failed two drug tests in the 2014 offseason that led to a six-game suspension. He had only one start and three sacks in 26 career games before a December 2015 failed test triggered the third-strike, one-year suspension.
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Jordan is under contract with the Dolphins through 2017 with an option year for 2018, but GM Chris Grier has said that he'll take a wait-and-see approach with Jordan's comeback.
"I think everyone needs to prove something. We talk about creating a competitive environment with guys that want to be a Miami Dolphin and want to be here and love the game and compete. Obviously, what happens whether he gets reinstated or not from that point we'll make that decision once we see him and get him in the building."
Jordan told USA Today he's been doing the work, losing about a dozen pounds as part of a rigorous regimen that includes doing a good deed every day:
"I'm not about to waste (this opportunity). I can't waste it. And I (expletive) love doing it. 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."