The Miami Dolphins traded up with the Oakland Raiders in the 2013 NFL Draft for a chance to pick the most explosive defensive end prospect available, Oregon’s Dion Jordan. Heading into his fifth season with the Dolphins, Jordan has played in 26 games with one start, recording three sacks and 46 tackles, and been suspended three times under the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Jordan has not played since the 2014 season, missing the first six games that year, before a year-long suspension in 2015. Last season, Jordan was reinstated by the league, but spent the season on the Non-Football Injury list after having to have knee surgery prior to returning to the team.
In other words, Jordan has been a disappointment...to say the least.
On Monday, Dolphins Executive Vice President of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum met with the media, and Jordan’s status was a point of discussion. “Obviously, from where he was selected to today, it’s not a move that’s worked out,” Tannenbaum explained, via the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Schad. “It’s pretty obvious. We’ll keep evaluating our roster and make moves when we feel it’s appropriate.”
Jordan remains on the Dolphins roster, though offseason reports continually seem to indicate the team has no long-term plans for Jordan, and probably do not have any 2017 plans that include the defensive end. Jordan accounts for $3.2 million against the salary cap this season, but the Dolphins have no guaranteed money tied into Jordan and can release him at any time.
“Our roster is always up for discussion,” Tannenbaum replied when asked if Jordan would be a part of the team’s offseason training program starting next month.
Tannenbaum’s answers did not get any better when pressed one more time on Jordan. Asked if Jordan could help the Dolphins either playing defensive end or linebacker, Miami’s top football executive answered, “Like I said, we’re going to keep evaluating our options there and when we have an update, we’ll let you guys know.”
Theoretically, the Dolphins are going to wait to see in what kind of shape Jordan reports to those offseason workouts, then make a decision on how long to hold on to their former first-round pick. If he is healthy and in shape, the team could carry him into training camp and see if he could be an asset for the club. If he is not healthy, the team could look to a waive/injured roster move, or, if he is not able to perform at the level the team would like, they could just waive him.
At this point, there does not seem to be any need to release Jordan. Miami has 66 players on their roster as of Tuesday morning, including Jordan, with a roster limit of 90 for the offseason. There is no need to create roster space, and the Dolphins still have $18.5 million in cap space, according to the NFL Players Association on Tuesday morning. Keeping Jordan for the next few months to see if there is any potential still there makes sense.
Any longer than that, however, does not seem to be a good bet at this point.