Rison granted reinstatement

 

Former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Andre Rison last played in the NFL in 2000 but is aching to return according to an ESPN.com report.

The 36-year old Rison was informed last week that he has been reinstated by the league. Rison, who played in the NFL for 12 seasons, was suspended for four games in 2001 for a repeat violation of the substance abuse program. If he signed a contract at that time, Rison would have been forced to satisfy that league sanction before being able to take the field again, but that is no longer the case.

Rison signed a one-year contract with the Raiders in 2000 but, after contributing to the team's advance to the AFC championship game, garnered virtually no interest in the free agent market the following spring. One reason was the four-game suspension.

Rison was one of the game's premier playmakers at wide receiver with his career totals include 743 receptions, 10,205 yards and 84 touchdowns.

His biggest years came with the Atlanta Falcons from 1990-94. Playing in the club's run-and-shoot offense, he averaged almost 85 catches, over 1,125 yards and more than 11 touchdowns a year in that span. When he departed the Falcons in the spring of 1995 to sign with Cleveland, it began an itinerant stretch for the four-time Pro Bowl performer.

The former Michigan State star has played with Indianapolis (1989), Atlanta (1990-94), Cleveland (1995), Jacksonville (1996), Green Bay (1996), Kansas City (1997-99) and the Raiders (2000). Signed by the Packers midway through the 1996 season, he helped the club win a Super Bowl title that year.

Rison has experienced some legal difficulties in recent years, primarily revolving around non-payment of child support, but said he is "clear" of all those issues now. He has been working out in Miami, playing basketball there on the city's outdoor courts, and said that he would be prepared to audition for an NFL team immediately.


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