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Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Suspended Again

So it turn out that Randy Gregory's positive drug test at the 2015 combine was a red flag after all.

Gregory, the Cowboys' second-round draft choice that year, was suspended indefinitely by the NFL today for violating the league's substance abuse policy. It is the fourth suspension going into what would be his fifth NFL season, the last year of his rookie deal. Gregory has been suspended for 30 games in his career; he has played 28, with one start. He did have 6.0 sacks in 14 games last year, but likely won't be doing much to follow that up in 2019.

Cowboys blogger R.J. Ochoa notes that this is nothing new for Dallas:

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Comments

17 comments, Last at 13 Mar 2019, 3:22pm

6 Re: Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Suspended Again

The "human trafficking" language of the arresting sheriffs has met with some skepticism by experts in the field. Regardless, if you say Kraft "supported human trafficking" then anybody who uses pot can be accused of "supporting drug cartels".
It is interesting once again how a crime suddenly becomes the most important thing, ever, if the Patriots are involved. The current murmur is that the NFL views the current case to be much more "serious" than Jim Irsay's DUI with a car full of drugs.

For fun, you can Google "Jets kicking ball tampered" or "Jets videotaping Patriots" .

Things are fun with New Yorkers in charge of the NFL.

15 Re: Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Suspended Again

He was only there to ask directions on how to get away from there.

It's amazing to think a senior citizen worth 6.5 billion dollars can't seem to spell "discretion".

As for Gregory, at this point I wouldn't hire him because to be caught over and over again is a pretty good indication of stupidity, which would bother me as a potential employer more than marijuana use.

3 Re: Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Suspended Again

The rumors ever since back when he was in college were that he has a mental health issue that he tends to self-medicate with marijuana. As we've seen with Josh Gordon and others, the culture of excess and machismo that comes with being an NFL player is just about the worst possible environment to try to overcome mental health and substance abuse issues. Hopefully he can get the help he needs and get his life back on track.

I also hope the NFLPA stands up against marijuana-related suspensions in the next CBA negotiation, as having it derail so many NFL careers is a disproportionately harsh penalty for a drug that is increasingly decriminalized and socially accepted in the USA. Many players have also indicated is the safest and most effective way for them to deal with the chronic pain that comes from playing such a violent sport. There's really no reason to clamp down as hard as the NFL has over marijuana right now, except as a cynical ploy to create a bargaining chip to be offered up in the next CBA negotiation.

9 Re: Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Suspended Again

Certainly absurd compared to its treatment of performance-enhancing drugs.

Actually the penalties for cannabis in European sport and the NFL are not dissimilar. E.g. this guy got a 3 month ban (1/3 of a season) for a first offence:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/article-4185496/Saido-Berahino-drug-shock-FA-banned-failed-test.html

What is bizarrely and drastically different is that in the NFL you get a similar ban for cannabis to that which you get for steroids (seemingly the usual ban is 4 months), and much more publicity.

To the European eye it is amazing that someone like Lane Johnson, who has been caught twice for PEDs, has received such light sanctions and has continues to be lauded as a top player rather than a cheat. In European sport, he'd have got at least a year for his first offence, and at least two years for his second, and would be pretty much universally derided as a cheat.

10 Re: Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Suspended Again

I think the NFL has a wink-nudge relationship with PED's, where they need to publicly stand against them but also don't really want to catch anyone. Look at how freaking big, strong, and athletic all of these guys are. It isn't just good genetics and hard work in the weight room that makes these guys such freaks; there's more than a little chemical help going on throughout the league. It's hard to really blame the players too much, it's an arms race and you can't really be left behind. If the 330-lb defensive tackle lining up across from you is doping, then as an offensive guard you basically have to dope in order to survive, or the team will replace you with someone who does. The fans love to see the biggest, fastest people in the world, and the NFL is fine with not looking into how players get that way as long as the fans aren't asking too many questions.

But you're right, it is truly baffling that they go after cannabis so hard while not really bothering with substances that materially affect the game. It's especially terrible considering the NFL culture of pumping players full of addictive opioid painkillers, then suspend them if they turn to cannabis in an attempt to find a safer way to relieve the pain of the toll this sport puts on their bodies.

12 Re: Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Suspended Again

The NFL is reactionary. They come out so hard against cannabis because they think players being on it will affect ratings. Once they realize it won't, they'll be willing to lay off, though they'll probably demand their pound of flesh from the players to negotiate it away.

However, on the other hand, don't believe players when they get suspended for substance abuse and claim it was pot. The league is not allowed to say what the substance really was, so players virtually always claim it was pot or Adderall regardless of what it really was, because pot and Adderall are more "ok" to the general public (and advertisers).

14 Re: Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Suspended Again

The thing is, the cannabis suspensions are a problem of their own making. They test the players for the drug, then if they fail announce that the guy is suspended. If there's any outrage about the player using the drug, it's only because the NFL announced it in the first place! If they didn't test for it and didn't suspend anybody for it, there would be no story at all. The NFL is creating this problem, then punishing the players to try to alleviate it.

It is true that the league only announces if it was a substance of abuse or a performance enhancing drug, so you are right that we are assuming it's cannabis rather than PCP or heroin or something. That said, Gregory has been pretty open about his history of marijuana usage, and I feel pretty confident taking his word for it. Read this story on him and see if you disagree:

http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/25426510/dallas-cowboys-randy-gregory-talks-being-real-bad-place