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Former Panthers DE Frank Alexander reinstated by NFL

Part of the reason why the Carolina Panthers’ defense has fallen off in 2018 is the fact that the team had a multitude of draft picks on the defensive side of the football that did not pan out. One of the Panthers’ biggest misses, defensive end Frank Alexander, has now been availed his opportunity to get back into the National Football League.

According to a report by Joe Person of The Athletic, the NFL has re-instated Alexander, a fourth-round pick by the Panthers in the 2012 Draft. With Alexander’s being re-instated, he is now free to sign with any team.

Taken with the No. 103 pick in the Draft out of Oklahoma, Alexander’s potential as a pass rusher was ruined by his habitual drug use, as he was suspended by the NFL three different times for marijuana use. Alexander was first suspended for four games in May of 2014 for violating the league’s substance abuse policies, and then earned a 10-game suspension for another violation just before his suspension was slated to end.

Then, in November of 2015, the NFL suspended Alexander for an entire year for his third offense. It was his last year with the Panthers, and came after he had suffered a season-ending Achilles tear in the preseason. After a year out of football in 2016, Alexander signed with the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League in 2017.

Speaking with the Charlotte Observer in May of 2015, Alexander stated that he had sought counseling at a Boston-area rehab facility, but emphasized that he had not used pot before showing up to work.

I didn’t do it before I went to work. I didn’t do it at work. It was simply like after I got out of practice, I wanted to kind of relax and chill. It kind of healed my body up,” said Alexander. “It wasn’t like a thing I was doing all the time. I didn’t need it to get up and go.”

Despite his trip to rehab, Alexander lost his season and his job shortly afterwards. In his time with the Panthers, Alexander’s best season came in his rookie year of 2012, when he recorded 2.5 sacks and defended three passes. For his Panthers career, he had 3.5 sacks in 34 games played with three fumble recoveries.

Alexander was one of two players taken back-to-back in the fourth round by the Panthers in 2012, neither of whom panned out. Immediately after drafting Alexander, the Panthers selected wide receiver Joe Adams out of Arkansas. Adams’ Panthers tenure ended poorly, as he only caught one pass for seven yards, and was primarily used as a kick returner. After a rookie season where he fumbled four times and lost three, Adams did not make the Panthers’ roster for the 2013 season.

Other notable members of the Panthers’ 2012 Draft class include middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, guard Amini Silatolu, and former All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman.

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