The Miami Dolphins may have received good news Monday when suspended defensive end Dion Jordan told USA Today he will file for reinstatement later this week. But where exactly would the former No. 3 overall pick fit with the Dolphins?
Miami is open to Jordan returning to the team if his reinstatement is successful. However, the Dolphins attacked free agency without Jordan in mind.
The team signed three veteran defensive ends, Mario Williams, Andre Branch and Jason Jones, to go along with team captain Cameron Wake. The Dolphins once relied on Jordan to be a future franchise building block, but gave up that notion after multiple violations and suspensions. They only viewed his possible return this year as a bonus.
Jordan would have to earn a role somewhere in a deep group of defensive ends. There also is a chance he could get a look at outside linebacker, which is not as deep a group.
Perhaps the best news is the former first-round pick wasn't above playing special teams in his first two seasons. That could work to Jordan's advantage when it comes to making the 53-man roster.
Although the Dolphins haven't seen him in a year and don't know if Jordan is in "football shape," there is a good chance he still has much of the natural athleticism that made him the No. 3 overall pick. Jordan should be able to do well on special teams based on instincts and athleticism alone.
However, playing on defense is a different story. Two seasons ago, Jordan was still a raw prospect at defensive end. He has just three career sacks and a lot to learn at the position. Not playing since the 2014 season certainly doesn't help his cause.
Jordan would enter training camp as the fifth defensive end in the rotation if he's reinstated. The Dolphins don't have the same depth at linebacker, and coaches might want to examine whether Jordan is capable of switching positions.
Coming off a six-win season, the Dolphins do not have the luxury to give up on talent. That could work in Jordan's favor if he's reinstated, stays out of trouble and does all the right things in Miami.