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Why I'm Excited About Dion Jordan (and you should be, too)

Dion Jordan, the third overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins has, like many athletes, had his life plastered all over the internet. The major difference setter between Dion Jordan and most, though, is his life hasn’t exactly gone as planned for the most part. He took a major downward spiral in 2014 which saw him banned from the league on multiple occasions for substance abuse (specifically performance enhancing). He had alcohol problems as well as serious mental health issues that needed to be addressed before it was too late. I’m not going to focus too much on how his life spiralled out of control but be sure to know he has overcome some incredible odds and owes a lot to a whole load of people who have helped him along his journey.

On March 31st 2017, Dion was finally released by the Dolphins following a failed physical and was soon picked up by the Seahawks on April 11th, something that Dion himself has said he will forever be in the debt of the Seahawks organization for giving him a chance, for believing in him. Plenty of teams were interested in signing Dion Jordan, but as he had family and his whole support network in San Francisco, he wanted to stay on the west coast. Part of his help came in the shape of a gym owner and life coach, Azim. One of Azim’s long-standing clients, a running back by the name of Marshawn Lynch was, you could argue, the main reason for Dion signing with Seattle over any other team. Lynch visited the gym and Azim handed him a list of teams that were interested in signing him and asked where Marshawn thought would be the best environment for him. “Seattle is the best place for Dion”, he said. Namely down to Tom Cable and the teams overall support system they have in place. That was that, Dion became a Seattle Seahawk.

He was originally placed on the reserve/non-football injury list to start the season however was activated onto the 53-man roster on November 8th.

He played in just five games total for Seattle in 2017 and recorded a sack in all but one, quite remarkable given where he was just a year ago.

His first outing came in week 10 at Arizona, he managed 33 snaps on defense and 4 on special teams, recorded a solo tackle and a sack. Week 11 saw his snap count drop somewhat to 19 on defense and 5 on special teams, he recorded an impressive 4 tackles in this game but no sacks, although came close on several occasions gaining consistent pressure off the edge. Week 15 against the Rams, following 3 weeks off the active roster following a minor neck injury, saw him take 20 snaps on defense and 7 on special teams, managing a fantastic 7 tackles 1 sack game. Christmas eve at Dallas for week 16 saw his snap counts nearly double to 34 on defense whilst managing 3 solo tackles and (you guessed it) another sack, starting to see a trend here? Finally, he finished his season in week 17 against Arizona at CenturyLink Field getting on the field for 32 snaps on defense and 6 on special teams whilst making 3 tackles and another sack.

To play in 5 games and record 4 sacks is absolutely the reason why he was drafted where he was by Miami in 2013, he has the potential to be an absolute game wrecker, truly a tilt the field kind of player and everything is now pointing in the right direction for him mentally, he has received the help he needed to enable him to put it all together on the football field, and he’s making quite the impression in his pretty limited time in Seattle. But can he do it at a higher and more consistent rate for the team in 2018?

Given the support system he has in place, the fact he hasn’t touched a drop of alcohol since February 2017 and Seattle’s commitment to keeping him on the straight and narrow, the only person standing in his way of success is Dion himself. Obviously, I can’t speak for him personally, but he seems to have addressed his demons and takes one day at a time, he has given everyone around him every hope that this is his life now, football is a main priority because, quite frankly, he doesn’t have anything else to fall back on.

Jordan was a restricted free agent this March and cost just $1,908,000 to keep him on the roster as an original round tender, given his 2017 production, this could likely prove to be superb value providing he is still in a good place. It’s very fair to assume that given Seattle’s lack of depth at the defensive end position, Dion could very easily find himself as one of the stars of the defense in 2018, even if his stats fall off slightly, he could very easily get a double-digit sack season under his belt and earn himself a nice payday in free agency in 2019. Given he has said himself how grateful and ‘forever in their debt’ he is to this team, my bet is he would agree to a fair deal for both sides provided things go as planned next season. Given he turned 28 years old in just a few weeks ago, he is, potentially, getting into his prime and a 4 or 5-year deal with the team wouldn’t be out of the question at all, if the team were to lock him up long term this offseason it has potential to be one of the most valuable contracts in the NFL.

Dion Jordan is probably the player I’m most excited about watching next season, Pete Carroll called him ‘a bit raw’ at times, but given he hadn’t played football in over 1000 days before the week 10 matchup against Arizona, what do you expect? He has all the tangibles to be a star in this league and my bet is that is exactly what he will become. I’m just glad that everything appears to have fallen into place and it’s myself and other Seahawks fans that get to watch what Dolphins fans should have witnessed in 2013.

I wish Dion the absolute best in every aspect of his life and wish him luck for his upcoming season, he has overcome a lot of odds to be where he is today and I can’t help but hugely respect that, I’m confident that I am not alone in seriously rooting for him, both on and off the field.

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