Washington Redskin Dexter Manley will meet Friday with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to discuss the defensive end's return to the league after being suspended for a third violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy, published reports in Washington said Monday.
Manley was suspended for life Nov. 18, 1989, but Tagliabue can lift that penalty after one year. That year is up Sunday.The Washington Post said in its report that various sources indicate Tagliabue will allow Manley back into the NFL Nov. 19.
Manley, 32, has been receiving treatment at a drug rehabilitation clinic in Houston run by John Lucas, a former NBA star who had a drug problem of his own. He has been regularly tested for drugs and his attorney, Bob Woolf, has said his client has been drug-free for nearly a year.
"I'm always positive. I'm excited," The Washington Times quoted Manley as saying Sunday night. "I've been sober now for 374 days. I've passed all the drug tests."
Should he be reinstated, the Redskins would then have to decide whether they want to put Manley back on the roster. He has six games left on his contract with the club. If the Redskins decline to take back their all-time leader at sacking quarterbacks, he may be able to sign on with another team.
Sources near the Redskins say that for now they have no interest in Manley, through he has put himself through rigorous conditioning, and they intend to release him if he is reinstated.
"I'd love to finish up in the Washington metropolitan area," the Times quoted Manley as saying. "The fans are so fantastic. I'll always live in Washington, get involved in drug abuse programs, the home mortgage business, be a real asset to the community."