Randy Gregory fails a drugs test, is it a big deal?

Should a failed drugs test (marijuana) lead to a draft fall for Randy Gregory?

The big news today is that Nebraska linebacker Randy Gregory failed a drugs test at the combine. He tested positive for marijuana.

The assumption is this will damage his draft stock.

Lance Zierlein published a mock draft on NFL.com today titled: “Gregory slides out of the top 10“. The headline on the draft section of the NFL.com website goes a step further

“Gregory plummets in Zierlein’s mock”

“Plummets” is a poor choice of words. A fall to #13 is hardly a “plummet”. He’s expected to go in the top ten but he’s far from the finished article. A drop into the teens wouldn’t be a shock. Nobody said Brian Orakpo “plummeted” down the board in 2009. He was taken with the #13 pick that year.

In another piece for NFL.com, Bucky Brooks answers questions on the subject with the following quotes:

“From a team perspective, Gregory’s admission to a failed test in January 2014 and April 2014 is a huge concern. He was coming off a sensational sophomore season that captivated the attention of scouts; several evaluators viewed him as a potential first-round prospect heading into the season. The fact that he had multiple positive tests in his most important season and that he continued to use marijuana despite being one strike away from being booted off the team suggests a deep-rooted problem with the drug.”

He goes on to add:

“It’s no secret the NFL has some marijuana users on its teams, but teams have problems accepting players who prioritize their recreational habits over football preparation.”

Brooks makes some fair points on the decision making and potential impact given what was at stake. I would ask, however, whether it’s fair to assume a player isn’t prioritizing football because he smokes pot? Is it as clear cut as that?

I understand clubs want their players to be clean, upstanding individuals. Any player who has a serious issue with drugs, well that is rightly going to be an issue. Does Gregory have a major problem? Or does he smoke pot for medicinal reasons? Is it slightly outdated to associate marijuana simply as a problematic substance, rather than a benefit in some cases? What are the facts here?

The NFL outlaws marijuana and punishes players severely if they break the rules. That counts if you smoke one joint or one hundred. Fail a drugs test and you’re immediately in stage one of the NFL’s substance abuse program.

The league is arguably correct to take a hard-line stance when you consider smoking pot is illegal in most states. Yet if you smoke pot legally in Washington State and are tested as a member of the Seahawks, you are still placed on the substance abuse program.

The obvious case to look at is that of Josh Gordan. During the course of his career he’s faced suspensions lasting two games, one season (reduced to ten games) and now one full season. All due to substance abuse. Greg Hardy in comparison is expected to face a six game suspension this year through the NFL’s new personal conduct policy.

How is that right?

If you missed the issue regarding Hardy, here’s a breakdown of the situation:

A district judge in Mecklenburg County found Hardy guilty in July of assaulting and threatening to kill ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder during an early-morning altercation at Hardy’s uptown condo last May.

Hardy immediately appealed the decision and was granted a jury trial, which was scheduled to begin Feb. 9.

The morning of the trial, however, prosecutors told the judge they were dropping the charges because multiple attempts to find Holder – including setting up surveillance at her new residence – were unsuccessful.

District attorney Andrew Murray said Hardy had reached a settlement with Holder for an undisclosed amount to settle any civil claims.

The Guardian notes the NFL’s new personal conduct policy rules:

The NFL’s new personal conduct policy, approved by owners after Hardy’s conviction, calls for a six-game suspension for first-time violations involving assault, sexual assault and domestic violence. Previously, first-time offenders typically received two-game suspensions.

Josh Gordon has so far missed twelve games. By the end of the 2015 season, he’ll have missed 28. Hardy will likely miss six and then return to play for the Dallas Cowboys.

In 2013 Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond served a four game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Prior to the change in personal conduct policy, you would serve half that suspension if you found yourself in a deplorable situation like Hardy’s.

That’s a difficult one to explain.

Sigmund Bloom raises a fair point, whether you agree or not. Is it time for the league to have this discussion? Otherwise the assumption will always be a player like Gregory is a serious character concern, fair or not.

For what it’s worth Gregory has addressed the matter in an interview with Kimberly Jones:

“I don’t wake up every day saying, I’d really love to go smoke,” he said. “It’s not a struggle for me every day (now), it really isn’t. In the past, hell yeah, it’s been a struggle. It really has been. Now, I’m focused on my dream.

“I want people to really understand that I know I made a mistake, for one,” Gregory said. “That I knew what I had coming up (the combine), and I still made that mistake. That was dumb.

“I want people to understand I’m not some dumb jock pothead. I’m not,” he added. “I’m intelligent. I love the people who help me, I love my family, I love my support group. I love football. I love winning. And I don’t want to be labeled as some bust that couldn’t make it because he smoked. And I won’t be labeled as that.

“So I just want people to understand that. This may be a setback. You may look at me a certain way, but at the end, I’m still going to be on top. I’m still going to do well.”

I think it comes down to this:

1. Is marijuana such a problem for Gregory that it will have a serious impact on his career?

2. Can he quit?

3. Should he have to quit, or should the NFL adjust it’s stance on marijuana?

Ultimately Randy Gregory hasn’t harmed anyone but himself (stock and health). This is something that perhaps needs to be remembered by the 32 NFL teams — some of which entertained the idea of signing Greg Hardy.


  1. Seachick Erin

    Rob you are really generating lots of great discussion on social issues as they pertain to the NFL and I think it is great.

    To me the issue is not whether Gregory smoked pot. It is the poor decision making that would worry me. It is his draft year and he knows the rules (it does not matter if we agree with them or not) and he chose to ignore them and risk a positive test in his draft year. Not once , not twice but three times.

    His disregard for the rules and lack of respect for the process would be very concerning to me. We only have to look at Justin Blackmon and Josh Gordon to see how this plays out.

    I think like the NFL needs to adjust its policy on Pot and legalize it but until then players like this who clearly do not have the impluse control or respect to follow the rules would be off my draft board. It works that way in all professions. My husband works on an oil rig and is drug tested before the start of each 6 week rotation. If he tests positive the first time he is given a warning and suspended. The second time he is fired.

    • Lewis

      This. Exactly.

      Either football isn’t enough of a priority to keep himself clean or he has a substance abuse problem. Either scenario is trouble.

      Whether or not the league should change the policy is irrelevant. That’s what the policy is right now and all the prospective players know it and know they will be tested.

      • williambryan

        I think there is something to be said for unjust rules though. The rule is outdated and it needs to be changed. Although Gregory is taking the apologetic stance in public, I’m sure he is cursing the rules as they are in private. The only way things change is with activism and I kind of think as this as another chance for growth. Hopefully more national voices pickup on the obsurdity of having marijauna use treated as a worse crime than domestic abuse. Even pete Carroll has said the league needs to rethink things.

        • Phil

          The only thing I would add is that what should matter is the player’s conduct “on the job”. That is, if a player’s pot use is adversely affecting his play, or his conduct in meetings or in the clubhouse, or if his pot use reflects badly on the league (e.g., he gets arrested), go ahead and “punish” him. But, if he chooses pot instead of alcohol, and if he judiciously chooses where and when he smokes, then I say fine — look the other way.

          I don’t think it would be wise for the league to openly “legitimize” the use of pot. But, I think they should enforce any rules they have based on a player’s behavior, not just the fact that he failed a test.

  2. Stuart

    The NFL should adjust it’s stance on marijuana. However, even in the state of Washington where it’s “legal,”if your employer says no pot and they test you-if it shows up you are not suspended but fired.

    This also counts when trying to get a job. You have zero chance if pot shows up in your system as part of the pre-employment screening.

    I had to give it up for a job that pays less than $100,000 per year. Why cant an athlete who makes 5-50 times that give it up too?

    • SunPathPaul

      No one should have to ‘give it up.’ It just shouldn’t be abused like the other intoxicants.

      Alcohol and Tobacco kill people. Marijuana treats pain, anxiety, insomnia, lack of appetite, and cancer.

      It has been used in ancient cultures for these symptoms for 1,000’s of years. Now todays is much stronger, but so is the choices of alcohol more diverse and punishing…

      Why should your boss care if you went to a concert and smoked a J? As long as you don’t go to work after smoking, then why should they care?

      • fudwamper

        MJ does have a lot of nasty side effects, nausea, abd pain, headaches, anxiety. Just a tid bit I thought that should be shared,.

      • Meat

        Majority of people don’t use put for medicinal reasons. I am all for legalization of pot, and of many things, but groups tend to overstate benefits of pot use. It is believed the thc pills Dronabinol are more effective than smoking, and that some weed tested in Colorado contain low quantity of 1 out of the 2 medicinal known chemicals in pot. Some tested without any of that one medicinal chemical in the legal stores. So not all pot should be treated medicinally.

        As a boss and as a person who also holds chemical dependency certification I would be concerned if my employee was using chemicals for a gambit of reasons. A joint at a concert alone isn’t a big deal; unless their were negative consequences from the use.

        Addictions are often misunderstood and the denial that surrounds addictions are exponential. The most important piece regarding the player is he knew he was being tested and failed, and knowing the ramifications. That raises red flags for abuse if he continues to smoke; Continued use despite negative consequences. The fact he smokes pot is not the issue, but is his use a problem and creating negative consequences.

        This is a topic that cannot be discussed or conveyed in a post or short discussion. The NFL is harsh for repeat offenders, but if a player continues to use despite the negative consequences there is a problem, and it needs to be addressed.

  3. Greg haugsven

    Dropping to 13 will cost him some serious coin…the only reason this is a big deal is if he would call to 63…if not what do we care? Unless trading up is an option but probably not.

    • Greg haugsven

      Or fall

    • Rob Staton

      “The only reason this is a big deal is if he would call to 63…if not what do we care?”

      Just a topical discussion. We have got over a month to wait, after all.

    • Meat

      His life is a big deal. More so than dropping in the draft. Just saying. We don’t know if he has chemical abuse issues, and is none of our business.

  4. AlaskaHawk

    The NFL cannot change it’s stance as long as the feds deem it illegal. That’s just the way it is. Even in Washington and Colorado. The feds can swoop in any time they want, grab medical and business records, and prosecute businesses and clients. Happy hunting!

    As far as Gregory goes, whew. 6 games now and then he will be drug tested for the rest of his career. Good luck.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      1st failed test is placement in the NFL drug rehab program. When you have multiple drug failures, then the player will be suspended for a single game, then multiple games, to “Josh Gordon” Life.

    • Rob Staton

      “The NFL cannot change it’s stance as long as the feds deem it illegal.”

      They can change their stance so someone like Josh Gordon isn’t getting punished more than someone like Greg Hardy.

      • SunPathPaul

        Actually the Federal Government just “quietly passed a law” making medical marijuana LEGAL in America.


        • arias


          That’s amazing they were able to get that through a right wing congress!

          Maybe the operative word that allowed them to do it is “quietly”.

          At any rate, thanks for that tidbit. Seems like a major breakthrough to have reached consensus on it at the fed level.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          Congress didn’t make marijuana legal. Rather, they just prohibited federal agencies from interfering with or in states with medical marijuana laws. It’s a step in the right direction – acknowledgement and respect of states’ rights – but it’s still not legalization.

          • arias

            Oooh. Only medical though eh? Well it’s better than nothing, but that makes it still a concern that a different administration might see things very differently and DEA would start raiding and shutting down all the legit businesses that have set up shop over the last few years. I guess that’s still a distinct possibility until they pass similar legislation to not interfere with in state recreational marijuana laws.

          • Meat

            Exactly. This is more accurate

      • RealRhino2

        Agree; they can change their stance all they want. Just don’t have a stance. Don’t test for it, don’t list it among banned substances. Do we really need to have a NFL rule on the books for EVERY possible criminal infraction? Do we have a “Carried A Minor Across State Lines for Immoral Purposes” policy? Do we have a RICO policy? “Failed to Timely Pay Parking Tickets” policy? We don’t need a special committee reporting to a 3-person panel for every possible federal offense.

        • Spireite Seahawk

          I completely agree with you and this is what I’d like to see, simply stop testing for it. The problem is one of perception as per usual, removing it from the banned substance list will be percieved as the NFL advocating marijuana use. This is silly of course but pervception is usually reality.

          • RealRhino2

            Yeah, that’s really the problem, that they put it on there in the first place. Then its removal is seen as an endorsement.

            I think it would quickly be accepted, though. The tide seems to be turning in the minds of the people, and the NFL could just come out and say that the banned substance list is about player safety and a level playing field, and MJ is not shown to have a significant impact in either area.

            Re Gregory, I would drop him WAY down on my board. Look at the 49ers’ headaches dealing with Aldon Smith. It’s like drafting a guy you are almost certain will miss several games each year due to injury. If you can’t stop yourself when you have a job interview/drug screening coming up, you have a problem.

          • Phil

            I guess that if you “simply stop testing for it”, some will say this is like accepting its use and I don’t think some members of the public are ready to go this far yet. So, continue to test for it, but quietly agree that punishment will not be handed down unless a player’s pot use is affecting his effectiveness on the job.

  5. drewjov11

    It’s fairly cut and dried. You know the rules, and you know what is at stake. How important is it to you? You’re either not committed enough to get the job done, or you have an addiction that needs to be dealt with.

    • Steele1324

      In cases like this, addiction also hurts the team, when you get suspended. Until rules change, a player just has to be clean.

      • Phil

        Sure, but isn’t there a bigger issue here? Should the rules be changed? If so, how?

        • Meat

          Don’t know if it should or not. There is an argument from both sides with some validity. The one thing I do t like is how extreme the punishment is for someone that could be diagnosed with an addiction. Get them help not punishment.
          Also seeing violence get same or less time suspension is what I believe to be the wrong message.

    • Rob Staton

      Or it could be medicinal.

      • SunPathPaul

        I do agree that incurring a ‘positive test’ is a big deal for the individual and especially true team.

        But as Rob mentions, there are lots of medicinal uses, and now the Fed Gov has made medicinal marijuana LEGAL in the US…

        Hard truth until they change the rules is, that you have to be ‘smarter than the system’!

        My god- they only test ONCE a year… If an NFL player making biG coiN can’t stop for 4-5 weeks, then their stupidity and lack of will power is on them…

        Time to make it not a problem for these guys. They have enough to worry about in this age of social media

      • Meat

        If it is medicinal the league can take an early stance and allow approval for medicine like Dronabinol. If is really a medical problem their should be a process for approval with league doctors.

  6. Ross

    Marijuana is no different than excessive alcohol or regular cigarettes to me. They’re all unhealthy and addictive habits, they just have varying degrees of social acceptance. Coaches and GM’s have enough control over playing time and wages that they should be able to prevent a habit from becoming a problem. Given that and the obvious movement in the US toward legalizing it altogether, I think the league should rethink its policies, especially relative to the punishments it gives out for other crimes. Smoking weed is not anywhere close to threatening to kill a person and then beating them, or smacking your own infant kid with a switch until they bleed.

    So with that said, I have no problem with Gregory smoking weed, but I do have a problem with him failing a simple drug test that he knew about months or even years in advance. That’s just stupid. It’s still illegal under league rules. Everyone knows that. If you want to play in the NFL, stay clean. That’s just the way it is. I don’t think he’s a bad guy, just an idiot. I am glad he has taken complete responsibility for it, but that doesn’t change the result. He deserves to slip down the draft for that.

  7. Attyla the Hawk

    It’s a classic case that really polarizes two opposites of the spectrum:

    1. Rules are there to be followed.


    2. Bad rules should not be obeyed as a matter of course.

    Obviously, the framework of the legality, both in the league and as a nationally recognized class C narcotic is not in question. However whether it’s a valid restriction has been questionable for decades.

    The NFL has softened their stance on marijuana use, by raising the threshold of a positive test to much greater levels. It’s probably the first in a line of efforts to ease or eliminate the drug as a controlled substance. It’s not at the point where it’s irrelevant. But I think it’s pretty clear that the days of marijuana as a completely prohibited substance is numbered.

    Here in Washington, I don’t expect there is really much of a stigma attached to limited/moderated marijuana consumption. That obviously doesn’t extend to significant addiction issues that affect one’s ability to perform or function. That’s no different than alcohol abuse. Abuse is abuse and that’s a different threshold and question entirely.

  8. bobbyk

    Warren Sapp slid down a bit further than he would have because he smoked some weed, too. Teams don’t care if you have personal problems for the most part as long as they aren’t caught on tape or you’re seriously at-risk to get suspended. Gregory may slide a few spots but, like the Bucs with Sapp, the one making out well could be the team that drafts him.

  9. DEAN

    Twenty-five scouts were on hand for Texas Southern pro day, primarily to watch little-known cornerback Tray Walker, who did not disappoint
    Walker measured 6-2 3/4, 189 pounds, posted 36.5-inch vertical jump and 10-7 broad jump. His 40 times included a wind-aided 4.44 and 4.51 against the wind. Walker also clocked a 4.05 in the short shuttle and a 3-cone, which dipped under 6.7. Walker has a official visits with Seattle don’t know when

    Hey Rob is there a list of official visits for the Seahawks?????

    • Seachick Erin

      Sounds like a Seahawks corner to me.

    • Steele1324

      Yep. Sounds like a Seahawks type.

      The UDFA sleepers list gets bigger and bigger.

    • Turp

      DAVIS HSU @DavisHsuSeattle · 2h 2 hours ago

      CB Tray Walker, DL Tory Slater, S Demarious Randall, WR Chris Harper, DT Kristjan Sokoli (5 Visits to VMAC- who am I missing?) #Seahawks

      • David M2

        Tray Walker CB 6’2⅛” 189 Texas Southern
        Damarious Randall S 5’10⅞” 196 Arizona State
        CHRIS HARPER WR 5’10¾” 175 California
        Kristjan Sokoli DE 6’5″ 289 Buffalo
        Tory Slater DL 6’5″ 290 University of West Georgia

        • Volume 12

          I see that Kristjan Sokoli is listed at 6’5 on Buffalo’s website. But at his pro day he was measured at 6’6 7/8. So which one is it? Or is it somewhere in between?

          • David M2


            Did you see this yet?

            De’Vante Bausby, 6-foot-2, 179-pound defensive back, posted an unofficial, wind-aided time of 4.22 seconds in the 40-yard dash on Thursday morning during an NFL Pro Day at Pittsburg State.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        The Seahawks have a top notch draft security staff. Very rarely do things “leak” out of the VMAC without a purpose or reason. They run the draft / FA period better than the pentagon runs a war.

        In previous years, they had guys in to find out information about other teams. Collecting intel on the enemy, if you will. Some guys knew it and others got buffaloed.

        • arias

          At the same time they’re going to mix up their strategy. If they get in the habit of only bringing in decoys every year their strategy would become predictable; that anyone they bring in they’re not really interested in. So I don’t think anything can be read into who they bring in and who they don’t.

          They’re required to disclose the prospects they have in that aren’t from the region so it’s not like they’re “leaking out” that info for an express purpose other than to fulfill the NFL requirement to do so.

    • Rob Staton

      This is what we know so far in terms of visits:

      CB Tray Walker, DL Tory Slater, S Demarious Randall, WR Chris Harper, DT Kristjan Sokoli

      • DEAN

        THANKS for the info. it’s so hard to predict the hawks. I think they drafted only four or five from last year list . I think they are going to draft five small school players this year my favorite player is David Johnson Running back northern Iowa he is like the Swiss army knife he can play RB,FB, (MOVE TE OR HB),WR,.KR,PR SPECIAL TEAMS he is a good receiver as a running back something the Seahawks do not have .

        • Rik

          I like him too. He offers a whole suite of skills in one package. I’d like to see what he could do backing up Marshawn for a year. I’m not sold on Christine Michael. He’s had two years to show us what he can do, and what have we seen? Not much.

          • Steele1324

            After Lynch signed and the Graham deal took away the first round, the conversation about the need for RB has gone silent. Should it?

            I sure would not mind if they found Lynch’s heir apparent in this draft,but they have more needs than draft positions (although their UDFA list seems to be growing).

            I do question whether CMike is the man. PC sounds like he is going to give him every opportunity to prove skeptics wrong.

        • Volume 12

          They drafted Eric Pinkins, Garrett Scott, and P-Rich who were all brought into the VMAC. They attended the pro days of Cassius Marsh and KPL. And UDFAs Jackson Jeffcoat, Brock Coyle, Keith Price, and I know I’m forgetting a couple names were also brought into the VMAC.

          So yeah. Figuring out what 5-10 guys they’ll draft off thier official vista lists is the hard part.

          • Spireite Seahawk

            Well one minute it’s Okung bowling with the FO and the next it’s Cody Latimer tweeting himself in a Seahawks hat.

            I think they do like to mix things up.

          • arias

            Are you sure they brought PRich into the VMAC?

            The way I remember him describing it is that he had minimal contact with the team and really didn’t have any idea that they were going to draft him. The only contact he had was some psych exam guy during the combine or something like that and that other than that the hawks didn’t tip their hand at all to him.

            I could have sworn that was PRich. Is it someone else I’m remembering?

  10. arias

    Personally, I’d be much more concerned about the likelihood of Gregory failing future drug tests than I’d be about a first time offender like Frank Clark getting tangled up in a DV incident again. Gregory has established a repeated pattern of behavior, and failing the combine drug test to top it off kind of cements the issue. That having happened so recently, however much he might think he has it or can get it under control it’s clear that right now he doesn’t have it under control and any team that drafts him will have to try and make sure that whatever triggers he has that would cause him to smoke weed in spite of the tremendous future stakes involved are not present and that he’s in a safe environment to minimize those cues.

    That’s always tricky when it comes to addiction and when we’re talking about an adult professional making money for the first time it could easily turn into a full blown headache. With Clark I’d want to know things like whether he’s still in the same relationship he had with the woman he had the blow up with. If he wasn’t I’d feel much more comfortable about his chances for not re-offending as a first time offender. But with Gregory his triggers could be anything. It could be the crowd he hangs out with or it could be something as simple and difficult to prevent as a certain level of stress. I could care less what he does with his recreational time and if it wasn’t a banned substance by the league. But since it is, I wouldn’t take him in the first round.

    If he were a first time offender I’d probably think differently. But sadly, he wasn’t.

    • Rob Staton

      Personally, I’d struggle to look Frank Clark directly in the face. But that’s just my take. He’d have to be extremely convincing during interview to warrant consideration in the draft — even though I’m a big fan of his on-field work.

      • Seachick Erin

        I don’t think we should even be comparing domestic violence and smoking pot.But for me both would be off my draft board. With so many quality young men available and with a young championship caliber roster we don’t need to take the risk.

        • arias

          For the record in no way was I comparing the severity of the crime. Just speaking from a GM perspective if I were trying to assess the risk of each prospect in their likelihood to re-offend in the future in deciding whether I’d take a chance drafting him or not.

        • Rob Staton

          Absolutely we shouldn’t be comparing the two. I hope in the piece it is clear I’m merely comparing the suspension/punishment the NFL offered two players and how, in my opinion, it doesn’t make sense.

    • Jeff M.

      I don’t necessarily disagree with your point–you’re probably correct that drug use is more likely to be repeated (leading to suspension down the road) than domestic violence.

      But the risk of suspension isn’t the reason I didn’t want the Seahawks to sign Hardy and don’t want them to draft Clark–it’s that I don’t want to root for a team with abusers on it. Now it wouldn’t actually make me stop rooting for the Seahawks if they added one of these guys, but it would make it less fun for me to cheer for the team than if they add a similarly-talented guy without the off-field issues.

      Marijuana use may end up hurting the team if the player gets suspended, but outside of that I have no problem cheering for a guy who smokes pot (just like I never had an issue cheering for Browner, etc.). I just don’t care either way.

      The team has to have a different calculus, probably more like the one you lay out, because they have to worry about which guy will be available vs. suspended, but for me as a fan I’ll continue hoping they don’t add any domestic abusers (because that affects me, at least in terms of how much joy I take from watching and rooting for my team) and not caring whether they add marijuana users (which doesn’t affect me at all from the fan enjoyment standpoint).

      • arias

        Sure, I was speaking strictly from a GM calculus of assessing future risk.

        But out of curiosity does the presence of Tom Cable, Tony McDaniel, and Kevin Williams affect how much joy you get out of watching the Seahawks play? Does their presence make it noticeably “less fun” for you when you’re cheering on the hawks? Since all of them had prior history with DV and in Cable’s case with 3 different women including his ex-wife I’m wondering how noticeably they affect the joy you get out of watching the seahawks play the game and if they do, how significant it is.

        • Phil

          I’ll bite.

          I didn’t know about the DV issues affecting Cable, McDaniel, and Williams before reading yesterday’s posts. Now that I do, I think less of each of them and won’t be cheering for them. This probably isn’t fair to them because I haven’t taken the time to research the allegations and make up my mind about whether they seem accurate. But, I just don’t have the time to do so ….

          It won’t affect “the joy” I get from watching the Seahawks play — just the regard (or lack thereof) I have for the individuals involved.

          • Jeff M.


            Yes, I do wish that the Seahawks didn’t employ an offensive line coach who apparently has repeatedly assaulted the women in his life. Not enough to turn my back on the team or the positive things that have happened while he’s been there, but I’d prefer an alternate world where they got the same results without him.

            And yes, I’m going to be more excited about a big play if it’s made by Mebane and Bennett (for example) than if it’s made by McDaniel and Williams. I’ll still cheer if it’s a key play, but not as loud.

            I didn’t like (to use another example of a guy with a DV arrest) when the Seahawks picked up AJ Jefferson, and I was rooting for Jeremy Lane (or whoever, can’t exactly remember the depth chart at the time…) to beat him out for a spot. And I’ll continue to root for the guys I can feel proud to support to beat out the guys I can’t.

            Luckily this roster features a *lot* of guys I really, really like and feel I can support without reservation (Wilson, Lynch, Bennett, Sherman, Thomas, Chancellor, etc., etc., etc.). The jerseys that I’ve bought for myself, my wife, and my daughters are all off that list of guys and we wear them with pride. But I’ll also continue to wish that that could be true of every guy on the roster.

            • arias

              Thanks you two. I appreciated hearing your honest responses.

  11. kevin mullen

    Only issue I have with his failed drug test is that he says he hadn’t smoked since December of 2014, flash forward to March 2015 and it’s still in his system? Unless they conducted a hair test (which I highly doubt), being as an elite athlete, this should have flushed out his system in probably 2 weeks. I’m by no means an expert on how a human body flushes toxins but I’m not an idiot, its commonly known that marijuana can last up to 4 weeks in the body. The fact that he’s lying is my issue.

    • Matt

      I’m thinking the exact same thing. THC is stored in fat cells. Gregory is very lean, so the probability of THC staying in his system for 60 days is slim to none. He’s lying about his problem…like an addict. Major red flag.

      • arias

        Yeah, the whole “I had so much THC in my system that i stayed in my system for 60 days” is just pure BS and is making him look a lot worse.

        Not only is it obviously BS, but it also means he’s fully admitting to indulging in huge quantities of pot in December while his season is still going on. WTF?

        Plus, it was reported that when the letter from the league office came he was too sketched out to open it himself so handed it over to his dad to open.


        Inside were the test results from the combine informing him that he failed. Well, why was he so concerned about the letter that he would hand it over for his dad to open unless he had a good idea of what it would reveal?

        He’s just dug himself deeper in deeper with his denials and the way he’s dealing with this. Quinn was reportedly high on him enough to use the 8th pick in the draft on him to play LEO. Whether he remains high on him remains to be seen but I would be really REALLY shocked if Atlanta goes anywhere near him on draft day.

  12. SunPathPaul


    The NFL needs to change now. Here’s why…

    1) We have 3 states now that have made it FULLY legal. No medical prescription, nothing.
    Washington, Colorado, Alaska… (maybe D.C. too)
    2) It has been proven in over 34 studies to treat CANCER.
    3) It is a proven pain reliever(which doesn’t have to be smoked or get u high for the benefits-salves, etc.)
    4) The Federal government just ‘quietly passed a law’ making medical marijuana legal in the US.
    5) Sports Enhancer??? Does any believe that being stoned on game day would be a benefit?? Hell no…maybe a handful of players might do that, but I doubt it. It’s nothing like adderall. Thus it doesn’t effect game day at all…

    They need to simply let it go. Just look at the hypocrisy of a league telling a player in Colorado or Washington that “No”, just because everyone else in the state can legally do it, if “YOU DO” we will suspend you and take your paychecks! …and possibly ur frisking JOB! No right

    • SunPathPaul

      …freaking JOB! Not Right in any way… (they shouldn’t be dictators)

    • AlaskaHawk

      I found that link to federal action pretty interesting. Here is another twist. A lot of us have work rules that allow us to be fired if we are under the influence. You think that getting a medical use makes it okay. But the workplace rules are there to protect everyone else from your actions. So let’s say the nfl says it is okay to use with a medical permit. Then someone gets injured in practice. It’s a contact sport but the guy that injured the other player has marijuana in his blood stream. Nice lawsuit going now. First against the other player, the team, the nfl. I’m not sure if it is a slam dunk that the nfl would allow it.

      • SunPathPaul

        I think that scenario is going a bit over board.
        Players get hurt all the time, and plenty smoke now, so suing a fellow player for weed??

        Nah, that’s not even on their radar.

        Players get hurt all the time. How could anyone prove that it happened do to someone’s blood THC levels?

  13. j

    The character concern is not that he smoked marijuana.

    The character concern is that, he knew that he could be suspended/kicked off the team for smoking marijuana. And he smoked it anyway. That to me shows that he values smoking marijuana more than he values playing football.

    If he isn’t going to stop with millions of dollars on the line, is he going to stop smoking in the NFL? Cause if he doesn’t, drafting him becomes a much larger risk. As, like it or not, you can get suspended for smoking marijuana.

    • xo 1

      Nailed it. Frankly, Gregory’s talk last week was unimpressive and contradicted by his behavior. I don’t hear any NFL people talking abut this as character concern – it is calculus about whether he’ll be suspended. And part of that is he is failing the intelligence test of being clean for a date-certain drug test.

  14. CHawk Talker Eric

    Hi Rob, really interesting discussions these last couple of posts. My admiration to you for fostering the talk and allowing us to have it out so to speak.

    For me, Clark’s actions were not only illegal, they are repugnant.

    As for Gregory, in light of the fact that neither Nebraska nor Indiana have medical marijuana laws, his actions are also probably illegal). However, beyond that they are merely disappointing, not repugnant.

    You asked several provocative questions.

    Is Gregory’s Combine drug test fail a big deal? Generally speaking, yeah it kind of is. You don’t show up for a job interview hung over. I know that’s not an exact analogy, but it conveys my point that his drug test was just as important as any other test he participated in at the Combine. I don’t want to belabor the point about him being immature and unprofessional.

    More specifically, the drug test fail is a tremendous deal if you’re Randy Gregory or a team that was targeting him in the draft. Fortunately, from a purely selfish standpoint, I’m glad he never was on SEA’s radar.

    Is marijuana such a problem for Gregory that it will have a serious impact on his career? I think it already has. At the very least, he’s lost a certain amount of money slipping in the draft (how much remains to be seen). Also, he has a black mark next to his name as far as the League is concerned and will face enhanced scrutiny over the course of his career. Again, if you’re Randy Gregory, these are serious impacts.

    Can he quit? Should he have to quit, or should the NFL adjust it’s stance on marijuana? I think the NFL needs to rethink its conduct policy and adjust how it responds to infractions. It’s current position on this issue is untenable. Only Gregory knows whether or not he can quit. And IMO only Gregory ought to decide whether or not he should.

    You also brought up that maybe Gregory’s use is medicinal. Even if it is, it still would not be legal in either Nebraska or Indiana, neither of which recognize medical marijuana. Regardless, if his use is truly medicinal, he should have done what all other players are required to do regarding any medicine that is banned – report his use and demonstrate his medical need to the League.

  15. Tien

    For me this is pretty simple.

    First, I enjoy abusing alcohol socially and have no interest in pot. But also don’t view pot as this evil controlled substance either and I think the NFL, most employers, & the feds need to change their view and stance on pot use. Treat it like alcohol and unless a person/your employee lets pot affect their performance negatively and/or they use pot on the job, why care?

    Having said that, given that the NFL still prohibits pot use and tests players on a regular basis, a team has to consider a repeat offenders like Gregory seriously. Regardless if Gregory is addicted to pot or not, the facts are that he failed two drug tests in college and despite his desire to play in the NFL, he’s willing to risk the opportunity for success by smoking pot while going through the draft process?! He could get more serious and mature once in the NFL but he could also turn out to be like Josh Gordon also, a well-intentioned great talent who can’t stay on the field because of bad decision making about pot use.

    I have no problem at all with anyone choosing to use pot as their recreational drug of choice but if I was a GM and needed an impact DL, I’d have to really consider and analyze Gregory’s past suspension history and circumstances around them to determine the likelihood of him continuing with the bad decision making about pot that may lead to multiple game suspensions from the NFL.

  16. ontoic

    The lion’s share of crimes that are committed by my clients involve alcohol in some form or another. Aside from driving under the influence, or illegal possession (back when marijuana was still illegal) I have never felt like marijuana use has contributed in any way to criminal behavior. Personally, I have never used pot and never will. It’s just not my thing; but I find our Country’s stance on pot as a sign of ignorant antiquated sanctimonious morality.

    As for Gregory, I think there are several well-reasoned points about spending a bunch of money on a kid who might make himself unavailable to play because of ignorant disregard for his responsibilities. I am of the mindset that taking a pass on Gregory is a good idea, unless he plummets to a point where 1) He gets a strong financial message about his poor choice; and 2) the value is just too high to pass up.

    I echo the others who remarked that the tenor and content of the discourse lately is refreshing. It’s fun to be able to engage my mind while being a meatheaded football fan.

    I hope that we fans are conscientious that these are very young men who we evaluate and criticize like commodities or chattel. Many of them come from very disadvantaged backgrounds. I marvel at how indifferent many people are to the degree to which these kids are scrutinized and judged by both professional and social media.

    I also wonder at times why we seem surprised about issues related to off the field violence when we select these young men for their strength and aggression, and cheer them like gladiators in the Roman arenas of old. I think it’s a wonder there isn’t more off the field violence among this population which is placed under the intense stress of our judgment and then lauded for being brutal combatants each Sunday.

    • arias

      Always love reading the insight you bring to the discussion ontoic. As usual you make some well reasoned and very salient points.

      “I hope that we fans are conscientious that these are very young men who we evaluate and criticize like commodities or chattel.”

      This is something that I’ve been much more aware and conscientious of lately too and try and prevent myself from speaking about players that way that might happen out of habit. But I can’t imagine any pro athlete would spend any time wading through the random public posts made to them on social media littered with cheap shots and haters. That’s no way to stay sane.

      • xo 1

        Agreed with arias. Well reasoned and articulated views here.

        I particularly agree that there is a point where Gregory’s potential merits selecting him. For me, that could be the bottom of the second round, but that may not be far enough to be a wake up call. I am skeptical, since this past football season already framed the issue for Gregory and he failed the test. I’m also not sure his potential is really as high as assumed. He is a small framed guy with, I understand, limited moves. I see the athleticism, but can also see high risk based on the field. The comps to Dion Jordan are understandable.

  17. Bernardo De Biase

    I doubt NFL would do something like that when the player have issues with paying his taxes or something like that.

    I think teams should just overrule NFL’s position over marijuana. In my opinion, it’s abusive from the NFL to rule or ban some kind of demeanor or behavior, on a player’s recreational times, unless it’s directly related to his athletic performance, like PEDs. Marijuana is not a PED to my knowledge. This is pretty much saying, from NFL, “NFL players aren’t allowed to use iPads because Surface is their sponsor. If they do, ban of 2 to 4 games”, or, “Marshawn Lynch isn’t allowed to eat skittles because that doesn’t fit NFL’s model of ultra healthy athletes

    • arias

      It doesn’t really matter if a team decided to allow their players to smoke pot. That’s not going to change the schedule of league testers who show up and randomly drug test players. The team would just be creating more problems for itself by condoning something that the league will continue to test and punish their players for.

  18. CC

    As a person, I really don’t care what Gregory does – smoke pot, don’t smoke pot – whatever. Now, whether an owner wants to take the chance with their money – well, I could see the challenge there. As a fan, if he’s on my team and he misses games because of a drug suspension, I’m annoyed – but that is about all.

    I also do not think that smoking pot should be a bigger suspension compared to beating up someone, or injuring them with a car, or shooting someone.

  19. Ishmael

    For me the issue isn’t that he was smoking weed, it’s that he was stupid enough to do it knowing the combine was coming up. That’s some seriously faulty decision making, and that has to be taken into account.

    He’s obviously a young guy, but surely he has friends/family, a manager, an agent, around him who can help him with stuff like this?

    Obviously the NFL should change its rules, but until it does it’s just dumb to not play by them.

  20. franks

    Some of these kids don’t grow up with the best support networks or role models. Really dumb move to fail the piss test at the combine, or in April after he just failed one in January. Can he be counted on to break this pattern? I’d say his chances will be better if he lands in a strong locker room like Seattle’s, but wherever he goes there will be people who want him to succeed, and the hangers-on.

    He has more at stake than most of us at his age, but it’s not unusual for young people to lose perspective and make bad decisions. I’m sure he’s doing something right to be in his position in the first place and hopefully that won’t be overshadowed by more mistakes.

    • franks

      I was trying to reply to Ishmael.

      • Ishmael

        All good buddy, I’m with you.

        I totally agree that he can break the pattern. The decision making parts of our brain don’t finishing developing until we’re 25/26 I think, and Gregory is pretty young isn’t he? Like I said, not the drugs themselves I’m worried about. It’s that he’s known the Combine has been coming for months, if not years.

        It says that he’s either too stupid to know any better, or he has a complete inability to think in anything even resembling the medium-long term. That’s enough to freak me out pretty badly if I’m an NFL team. Of course, it probably has very little with what he can do on the field.

        • franks

          Yeah, I don’t think anyone cares that he got high, it’s his irresponsibility that’s a big deal. But the things he’s said about it make him sound like someone with a real problem. 60 days before he tested? Someone like him should get clean in under a week. Doesn’t it take 30 days if you ‘re obese and spend the whole month reading nachos on the couch. He lies like an addict, but maybe it’s a character problem. Which is worse? How much draft capital is to much too risk on a guy with Gregory s upside, I guess is the question.

          I think his stock falls, but he doesn’t make into the 20s.

  21. Volume 12

    The NFL has no problem pumping these guys full of painkillers, but they can’t smoke pot? I’d rather have my guys stay home, smoke pot and play video games or whatever then have them out at the club getting ‘turn out.’

    When did the NFL become the league that sets our society’s morals?

    The really need to look into changing this rule. They can test and see how much THC is in someone’s urine or UA. If it’ over a certain limit and you get popped, then suspend them. But these guys put their lives on the line for ‘the shield’ and if pot is what works best for the bodies then let them, I say.

    I do agree that it’s stupid for guys to test positive for the combine, and this is no excuse, but doesn’t pot stay in your system longer than any other drug? Much easier to mask the symptoms of alcohol, which IMO is a much bigger problem in the NFL than pot. OLB Aldon Smith gets to play after he drives his car into a tree, drunk, on the way to work/practice?

    These guys can endanger their lives with an NFL helmet on as long as they put money in the pockets of the owners and the ‘commish’, not if you smoke pot though, and also get to play if you put how many innocent lives at risk by driving drunk? A bit hypocritical to me. But, I digress.

    • peter

      The shifting morality I something I’ve always been down on with the shield.

      First things first Gregory is an idiot fir the timing and the circumstance and that plus the nfls policies towards marijuana consumption should concern teams a bit but talk of his stick falling I ridiculous.

      Back to the shifting morality….the whole idea that the league spent so much time with its drug policies including arcane rules that effected Brandon Browner when he wasn’t even playing in the league but had no clear and frankly until I see it has no clear policy on domestic violence is concerning.

      Then you have the example of Aldon Smith. An absolute Terri on the field but having a nine game sentence commuted to 8 and the start of his sentence following a nig game so he’d have a chance to play was absurd to highest degree. If any of you have the time on your hands call in a bomb threat then drive a car drunk into a tree, then fire a gun off into your neighborhood….see how long it takes you to get back to work. I understand that their world is not our world but the NFL repeatedly shows that if you’re a boss on the field you’re playing if there’s doubt about your abilities and use you may actually receive a punishment.

      I’m a cynic so I have no doubt that hardy will be playing day one citing that he wasn’t found guilty a second time or that the league rules only pertain to assaults after they stipulated the 6 game suspension for said actions.

      • arias

        “but the NFL repeatedly shows that if you’re a boss on the field you’re playing if there’s doubt about your abilities and use you may actually receive a punishment.”

        I’m not sure about that. Josh Gordon’s exile kind of violates that principle. Their drug policies are ridiculous and completely inconsistent with crimes deemed far worse. This is what happens when the league tries to get into the business of regulating morality, they just opened up a huge can of worms that’s now a runaway freight train.

        • peter

          Honestly I should have changed it to you can violent crimes surrounding you and you can play but if you smoke dope then you dont.

          Josh gordons ultimate crime realistically is not falling in line with company policy.

          • Volume 12

            I may not be able to post for awhile, because the charger on my tablet isn’t working, and I have to order a new one. So, here’s to hoping that nothing too exciting happens over the course of a week. IDK what I’ll do without the internet and this blog. I’ll be like an addict withdrawing from drugs. LOL.

            I guess it’s time to work on my mock draft then. Hear from ya guys soon. Until then….

  22. CHawk Talker Eric

    Interesting sleeper sighting

    MIN signed an OT from Poland – Babatunde Aiyegbusi 6’9″ 351#. Not much info on him but if you look at his photos he looks rock solid from head to toe. NO flab.

    • Bob Easter

      Vikings signed him yesterday.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I haven’t the faintest idea the level of competition he’s facing but this is fun to watch regardless.


      • SunPathPaul

        That guy crushes people!!!
        Wow. Almost every blocker ends up on the ground…

        Level of competition would be the concern.

        I wonder if he was ever on Seattles radar?

        • Volume 12

          You know who compares to him ins size a little bit? TCU OL Tayo Fabujule. What a life this guys has lived! He’s such an interesting prospect.

          Also if I were a betting man, I’m not, W. Virginia OG’s Mark Glowinski and Quinton Spain are going to be a couple risers this month. Spain has so many Seahawk esque qualities about him. Especially his strengths and what he does best. IMO Seattle will target the big road graders at LG.

          PS member Nate Isles may be an indication towards that notion/thought.

          • CharlieTheUnicorn

            I suspect Isles will be a 6th OL, heavy package kind of guy. I do not see him as a starting quality guy. But, when you are massive and can move, you just never know.

            • Volume 12

              No I don’t either. But he’s along the same lines of Carp, size wise. So maybe that’s an indicator of what they want at LG? I know they’ve taking every different type of O-lineman under PC/JS and Tom Cable, as Rob has pointed out, but maybe they want road graders at LG?

              ‘Pig’ Bailey also lends some evidence to my theory.

          • CHawk Talker Eric

            Fab is a very interesting prospect with an amazing backstory. I could see him dropping 15-20lbs and being everything Carp wasn’t.

            I know Glowinski has more buzz but Spain could be a real nice Day 3 pick.

            • Volume 12

              Either one of the W. Virginia G’s would be a great addition. I’m just curious as to how high Glowinski’s stock will climb between now and the draft? What do you think?

              • CHawk Talker Eric

                From what I read Glowinski interviews very well and ticks all the off-field boxes – weight room leader, dedicated, first in/last out kind of guy. Of course, he was probably the most consistent OLer during E/W Shrine Week. Some commentators think he has the ability to play tackle with proper coaching. Overall, he reminds me a lot of Britt – large, agile and athletic.

                It’s tough to peg where he will go. I think he compares favorably with Terry Poole who’s about the same size and is thought of as a RR5-6 prospect.

                Between White, Alford, Riddick, Glowinski and Spain, WV has some nice prospects in this year’s draft.

  23. Bob Easter

    It’s not a huge deal at all as it pertains to whether or not I’d want him on the Seahawks (I DO!) and unfortunately it’s not going to be a big enough deal to drop him to where he possibly could be.

  24. Aussie Al

    I understand the NFL and government in general view pot as a narcotic and it is banned/illegal. There are a lot of reasons why it remains so in most states and other countries that have nothing to do with its health/social impact, including tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical companies wanting it to stay illegal for their own financial benefit. Yet alcohol and tobacco are responsible for millions of deaths every year. How many people have missed time from work due to being hungover from a big night on the piss, or have been unproductive and sometimes a danger if at work, or driving, hung over? There may not be any alcohol in your system but it stiill affects you. On the other hand, if a person smokes a joint on a Saturday to relieve stress, the effects last maybe a few hours but the evidence of its use stay in his system for weeks. Same applies to other, far more dangerous drugs. I understand the illegality of it but it seems unfair to target this one drug just because it stays in your system long after any negative effect has worn off.

  25. Bryan C

    I met Randy Gregory on a flight today and I have to say he is a great person. I didn’t recognize him at first, but he was gigantic and the NFLPA backpack sort of gave him away. When he told me his name I said “hey, I know who you are”. He laughed and said that yes, he is more famous for his mistake than he is for being a football player.

    We talked about life, and what he is trying to do in the future. I found him to be one of the humblest and nicest people I have met in quite some time. He also spoke highly of PC and related some of the conversation that they had at the combine. He would be a perfect Leo and I think he ends up in Atlanta with Quinn. He will be a star in the league.

    • Rob Staton

      Nice post — thanks for sharing!

      • Bryan C

        You’re very welcome Rob. I really enjoy reading your post and think you do a great job with the projections and overall draft coverage in general.

        I think if PC/JS had their way they would take Gregory in a heartbeat, based on what he related from PC’s interaction with him during combine. He really is an ideal Leo but more than anything, while he is humble and gregarious, there is a chip on his shoulder from his test failure at the combine. If Quinn gets a hold of him, he will be a star. It is one thing to watch tape and interviews of people, but an entirely different thing to meet with and talk with someone for about an hour without reporters or other people around. Needless to say, he has a fan in me as a person.

        I also learned how the whole combine training and flights all over the country are paid for in the build up to the draft. I never really thought about it before, but Gregory isn’t going to be in any one place for more than 3 days until the draft is done. He flies all over the country working out, doing interviews and tryouts. It is like having a month long series of job interviews.

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