Free agent pass-rusher Dion Jordan would like to play in 2019, but his quest to do so has hit a significant snag: via NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Jordan is facing a 10-game suspension.
One wonders if this is the end of the road for the No. 3 pick in the 2013 draft, whose career has been marked by substance abuse issues. His agent believes it won’t be, however.
Arbitrator denies appeal
Pelissero reports that an arbitrator informed Jordan on Tuesday that his appeal has been denied, withholding the 10-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
Jordan says the suspension is for Adderall, a medication he’s previously been approved to use as treatment for ADHD. However, Jordan’s therapeutic use exemption had expired.
The 29-year-old spent the last two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. In 2018, Jordan played in 12 games with three starts and was credited with 1.5 sacks, six quarterback hits and 22 total tackles.
‘I made a mistake’
Jordan spoke by phone to Pelissero, and said there were several issues at the end of last season causing significant stress: his younger sister, whom Jordan views almost as a daughter, was dealing with serious personal problems; he also learned just before Seattle’s playoff game with Dallas that his grandmother had weeks left to live (she died a short time later).
“I made a mistake,” Jordan said. “I feel like the person that I am, I'm ready to move forward, I've been ready to move forward, with this specific issue. I've been working really hard with myself outside of football, and I can see the progress as a young man, as Dion Jordan, I can see it.
“My whole lifestyle — it's been a 180-degree change. I f---ed up, man. I can't fix this s---. It is what it is. But I know what I can't do and what not to do compared to the mistakes I've made in the past.”
He missed the entire 2015 season due to a one-year ban after multiple violations of the substance abuse policy, including a diluted test sample.
Jordan said he hadn’t taken Adderall in months and knew his exemption had not been renewed when he took the drug this past December and January. It led to three positive tests in four weeks, which were consolidated into a single violation.
But Jordan remains committed to his sobriety; he told Pelissero he’s been sober for 803 days, beginning on March 2, 2017. He’d been doing so well that last July NFL administrators made the rare decision of discharging him from Stage 3 of the substance-abuse program.
Jordan’s agent, Doug Hendrickson, told Pelissero several teams had reached out to inquire about signing Jordan, and all were aware of the discipline he was facing. If signed, Jordan can participate in offseason programs and training camp.
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