According to multiple sources, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory has been suspended four games due to a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. He became a Cowboy largely because of a failed drug test at the 2015 NFL Combine, which caused him to slip in the draft. The team thought they could get a support system in place to help him handle his issues, but it looks like they have not been very successful.
Per @NFL drug policy, Randy Gregory failed 4 tests. 1st at combine -- in the program. Then 2-gm fine, then 4-gm fine, then 4-gm suspension— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 19, 2016
Gregory will be allowed to participate in all offseason activities, including OTAs, training camp, and preseason games, but will miss the first four games of the regular season. To put it concisely, this sucks.
In more detail, it means a team that already faces some issues with their pass rush now is going to miss a player that was supposed to be part of the solution. Three of the pass rush rotation from 2015, Greg Hardy, Jeremy Mincey, and Jack Crawford, are unrestricted free agents, and for various reasons, the team may part ways with one or more of them. Now they have to worry about covering for Gregory for those four games, as well as having to deal with his issues going forward. Although there are certainly some reasons to question the league's policy on marijuana use, which was reportedly Gregory's illegal substance of choice, the fact that he knew what was expected of him and still violated the policy, apparently repeatedly, is more than a little troubling. The Cowboys took a risk with drafting him, and that risk may turn out to have been a bad one, no matter how talented he may be. It is a hugely disappointing development for a player who was awarded the storied 94 jersey.
This will probably have a strong effect on the draft and free agency decisions Dallas has to make going forward, and could well curtail Gregory's career prematurely. Hopefully, this will motivate him to clean his act up, but given his history, that is doubtful at best.