The path back to the NFL has been a long one for Randy Gregory, who was just reinstated from his most recent indefinite suspension for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse. Originally selected in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Gregory has served suspensions off and on over the years, self-medicating with marijuana to overcome mental health struggles that have followed him since Nebraska. That process has finally led to Randy Gregory’s return to the NFL after an arduous process held up by COVID-19, and the availability for him to follow his league-mandated reinstatement plan.
Now back with another opportunity to make some noise for the Dallas Cowboys, Gregory and the Cowboys agreed to a one-year extension yesterday evening that will keep the gifted pass rusher in Dallas through the 2021 season.
Per Todd Archer of ESPN, the one-year contract extension will be worth up to $2.1 million in 2021, and Gregory receives a $200,000 signing bonus.
Conditionally reinstated last week, defensive end Randy Gregory signed a one-year extension through 2021 with the Dallas Cowboys that includes a $200,000 signing bonus, according to multiple sources. He can make up to $2.1 million next season. https://t.co/QYMh83ly5y
That bonus is the Cowboys’ way of putting some money in his pockets since he hasn’t earned a game check since 2018. In a teaser video from The Boys and Girl Podcast featuring Jane Slater and Bobby Belt, they interviewed Randy Gregory’s, Agent Peter Schaffer. They asked what Gregory’s been up to during his indefinite suspension.
What was Randy Gregory doing when he wasn’t collecting game checks? He was working at an Amazon distribution center providing for himself and his family while getting his workouts in at 24 hr fitness. That and more on tomorrow’s podcast drop featuring his agent Peter Schaffer pic.twitter.com/sN1Dg2oNlw
— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) September 9, 2020
In the clip above, Shaffer shares that Randy now has a child, and to provide for his family, he has been working at an Amazon Distribution Center.
Gregory hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since the 2018 season when he played 14 games and set a career-high with six sacks. In that season, he also added 15 quarterback hits and two forced fumbles. That 2018 was a reminder of just how talented of a player Randy Gregory is despite serving suspensions that limited him only 14 games in the first three seasons after being drafted.
In the most recently signed Collective Bargaining Agreement, the NFL and the NFLPA made some changes to the way the league views marijuana. Back in March, they agreed to decrease the testing window from four months to the two weeks before training camp and increased the threshold for a positive test. Under the old CBA, the threshold for a positive test was 35 nanograms. Now it’s 150. Also, players will no longer face game suspensions for positive tests. Instead, they’ll face fines.
Though the NFL took some of the teeth out of its policy with regards to marijuana, marijuana is still considered a banned substance. There’s also no telling how this will affect players already in the substance abuse program before the new collective bargaining agreement, such as Randy Gregory or the Seattle Seahawks Josh Gordon. As we’ve seen with the drawn-out reinstatement process, the NFL still has a say concerning Randy Gregory’s conditional reinstatement.
While we don’t know how the new CBA impacts those in the program, we do know that Randy Gregory will return in October after an acclimation period that allows him to begin working out at The Star in Frisco, TX. He’ll also be able to meet with coaches and spend time learning the defense. Though we’re all excited to see Randy Gregory return and hoped it could be as soon as week one against the Los Angeles Rams, this acclimation period that Gregory will go through should be considered his training camp. He’ll spend the next month getting up to speed both physically and mentally before he’s able to join the team for practices starting on October 5th.
On the football side of things, it’s exciting that the Dallas Cowboys will get to add a player who is such a naturally gifted pass rusher. On the people side of things, it’s exciting that Randy Gregory is doing well.
This new contract with the Dallas Cowboys is a two-way tip of the cap. A relationship that started more than five years ago will extend another year for the Dallas Cowboys defense, which will pay huge dividends in the second half of 2020 and into 2021.