Book it. Randy Gregory, the Dallas Cowboys 2015 second round draft pick, will soon face banishment from the NFL. Here’s why that’s not exactly an outrageous prediction.
The Dallas Cowboys knew there were risks. After all, the risks were the only reason Randy Gregory, a predicted top-five draft pick, fell all the way to them to pick #60 in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Randy Gregory came into the NFL with more baggage than a Greyhound bus. Failing multiple NCAA drug tests while at Nebraska, Gregory had a lot to prove to the NFL when he declared for the draft. He needed more than just words – he needed actions.
Unfortunately his words did little and his actions led to a failed drug test at the 2015 NFL Combine, ultimately leading to his freefall to the bottom of the second round in the draft itself.
Fast forward to today and Randy Gregory is on the cusp of banishment. In fact, based on the NFL Substance Abuse Policy, it’s closer than you may think.
All we know is that he’s never been able to pull it together before, and there’s no reason to think he’ll pull it together now.
The NFL Substance Abuse Policy has an outlined process to handle players who partake of banned recreational drugs. The policy has a three stage intervention plan that begins with evaluation and treatment and ends with fines, suspensions, and even banishment.
Randy Gregory is dangerously close to banishment.
Randy Gregory, currently facing a four game suspension to start the 2016 season is only one failed test away from a 10-game suspension and lifelong membership in Stage Three of the Intervention Program (this assumes that his vice is solely marijuana).
In fact, according to ESPN reports on February 19, Randy Gregory has already lost his appeal for his upcoming four game suspension. Because of confidentiality reasons, we don’t exactly when Randy Gregory failed the tests that led to his suspension, but what we do know is he failed four tests during the 2015 season.
That’s four tests in less than one year.
To make matters worse, at least one of those failed tests was SCHEDULED. It didn’t sneak up on Randy like a pop quiz in English Literature– they were scheduled. All players know they will be tested at the NFL Combine so it’s extremely rare to see a drug test pop. But Randy Gregory’s did.
Since then, Randy Gregory has failed AT LEAST three more tests in less than one year. He did so with an official Dallas Cowboys handler babysitting his every move.
Want to feel even worse about Randy Gregory’s chances?
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We don’t know exactly when Randy Gregory has been/will be tested. His contract and Intervention Plan are confidential so we can only speculate. What we do know is the failed test that led to his up-coming suspension happened during the regular season. There is a lot of time between that date and week five of the 2016 regular season (at least seven months), meaning a lot can go wrong in that time span.
It appears that Randy Gregory has never been able to stay clean for that amount of time in his adult life (again, speculating). It also appears that even when facing certainty for punishment, he does little to alter his behavior (referring to his failing of the SCHEDULED drug test). Why would anyone reasonably believe he’s going to pull it together now?
Randy Gregory is going to be tested again. He could be tested at any time. He may have already been tested. And he may have already failed. All we know is that he’s never been able to pull it together before and there’s no reason to think he’ll pull it together now.
With an appeals process that could slow down the nearly-imminent 10-game suspension, Randy Gregory will probably be back with the Dallas Cowboys this season. But for how long? Banishment is within sight and only Roger Goodell can unbanish a player (or triple stamp a double stamp, for that matter).
The Cowboys decided to roll the dice when selecting Randy Gregory in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft but so far he’s come up craps and there’s no reason to think anything will change. My not-so-bold prediction: Randy Gregory will not play football in 2017.
Editorial note: I feel compelled to say that much like Josh Gordon, Johnny Manziel, and countless others, this is much deeper than just trying to have a good time. Call it compulsion or addiction or whatever, but the behavior cannot be logically made sense of. All evidence points to an extended hiatus from football and the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to understand that and plan accordingly.