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NFL Reinstates Washington’s Dexter Manley : Football: The Redskins defensive end was banned a year ago for substance abuse. He is now on waivers.

From Associated Press

NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue reinstated Dexter Manley today, a year after he was banned for substance abuse. The Washington Redskins immediately placed the defensive end on waivers and five teams, including the Rams and Raiders, are reportedly interested in signing him.

The NFL, in a statement released from New York, said Manley must avoid drug involvement and participate in a “structured support program” to remain in the league.

The league’s decision was accompanied by a statement from the Redskins saying they decided to place the nine-year pro on waivers. The Redskins’ all-time sack leader, with 97, was in the final year of his contract with the Redskins.

“We are pleased that the commissioner has reinstated Dexter Manley, thus giving Dexter a second chance to prove himself to his football fans. We wish him well,” the Redskins’ statement said.

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The statement from Tagliabue’s office said Manley will be eligible to begin practicing Tuesday but will not be eligible to play in a game until Dec. 9.

“I would like to thank Commissioner Tagliabue for approving my petition for reinstatement,” Manley said in statement. “I am most grateful to the commissioner for the faith, trust and confidence he has placed in me. I will make every effort never to violate that trust.”

Manley’s attorney, Bob Woolf, said he heard that five teams are interested in signing his client. He named the Cardinals, Rams, Los Angeles Raiders, Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos.

The 31-year-old Manley was banned from the league a year ago for violating the league’s substance abuse policy for a third time.

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He tested positive for cocaine use a few days after the Redskins’ 37-24 loss to the Los Angeles Raiders on Oct. 29, 1989. Shortly afterward, he confessed in an emotional news conference that he had “messed up” and used drugs.

Tagliabue’s “decision on reinstatement is conditioned on several factors, including Manley’s continued total avoidance of further drug involvement and the player’s participation in a structured support program. Manley must be enrolled in such a program before he may play in a game on the weekend of Dec. 9,” the NFL statement said.

Manley’s waiver gave the New England Patriots, the team with the league’s worst record, the first shot at Manley, who was to earn $485,000 this season. They have not expressed an interest, but Joe Bugel, a former Redskins assistant whose Phoenix Cardinals are tied with Cleveland for the second-worst record, has said he would be interested in acquiring Manley.


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