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Jordan's Future with Dolphins in Doubt
Wednesday, Jan. 27
Jordan isn't available for reinstatement until late April, and per Kelly, "league sources say there's some concern that the former Oregon standout will never play in the NFL again because of his substance abuse issues."
One issue for the Dolphins is that Jordan will remain suspended until the free-agency period is largely over and the team is well into its plans for the 2016 NFL draft, and that's if he's reinstated immediately upon being eligible to return. Because the team cannot communicate with Jordan during his suspension, they'll essentially have to craft an offseason plan without his presence on the team being factored into the equation.
That's especially relevant this offseason, with defensive ends Olivier Vernon and Derrick Shelby both set to hit free agency.
“We’re going to run a meritocracy," the team's vice president of football operations, Mike Tannenbaum, told Kelly on Tuesday at the Senior Bowl. "Once he’s reinstated, it is another opportunity for us to improve the team, but ultimately the best players will play.”
General manager Chris Grier added, "What happens, whether he gets reinstated or not, from that point we’ll make our decision once we see him and get him in the building.”
Jordan, 25, has been a bust in his short NFL career. In 26 games, he's managed just 46 tackles and three sacks. That wasn't the return the Dolphins were expecting when they traded the Nos. 12 and 42 picks to the Oakland Raiders to move up to the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 draft to select Jordan.
Jordan's elite athleticism coming out of Oregon made him appealing to teams around the league, and given his age, there is still a chance he could turn his career around given his obvious talent. But the Dolphins also cannot afford to assume he'll do so, especially since the team still doesn't know when Jordan will even be reinstated.