Ever since he was arrested on drug and weapons charges in May, New York Jets running back Mike Goodson has been largely absent. Goodson failed to report at the start of training camp and has been on the team's "Reserve/Did Not Report" list.
On Monday, the Jets welcomed Goodson back, but also announced that the veteran has been placed on the "active/non-football injury" list and, if that were not enough, has been suspended four games by the National Football League for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
"Mike Goodson returned to the team today after taking time away to focus on a personal matter," the Jets announced in a statement released on Monday night. "While we welcome Mike back to the organization, we have had direct conversations to make our expectations very clear as we work together to help him move forward in a positive manner, both on and off the field. During his suspension, Mike will be permitted to attend meetings and condition on an individual basis at our practice facility. However, he will not be permitted to practice or play."
The Jets signed Goodson to a three-year, $5 million contract on March 15 with the idea that he would replace Shonn Greene at the top of the team's running back depth chart. Goodson was scheduled to earn $1 million in base salary, but as he's been suspended without pay, he will forfeit $235,294 of that salary at the start of the season. The Jets could also seek to recoup $78,431, the prorated portion of his $1 million signing bonus that is subject to forfeiture due to his suspension.
With Goodson only receiving $1 million in guaranteed money from the Jets, the club could easily wipe their hands of Goodson and move on. The former Oakland Raiders draft pick hopes he gets an opportunity to contribute to his new team.
"I’ve been away from the team to take care of some important personal things," said Goodson. "The time was helpful to me and now that I am back, I am going to do everything I can to contribute to the team. I appreciate all of the support from the Jets organization and I’m thankful to be back with my teammates."
Even before Goodson's arrest, the Jets acquired running back Chris Ivory from the New Orleans Saints. Ivory is competing with 2011 fourth-round pick Bilal Powell for the team's starting running back job.