Justin Gatlin is facing up to an 8-year suspension from track and field for testing positive for testosterone and other steroids last summer. Gatlin tested the waters of Arizona and Houston but the Buccaneers were the only team to offer him a formal workout. The Buccaneers will decide whether to sign Gatlin and invite him back to next week’s mini-camp following this weekend’s.
Gatlin is no stranger to football; he just hasn’t played in a while. The last time he played was in high school. Gatlin has said that catching the ball isn’t a problem, he doesn’t drop balls. It is obvious that Gatlin has the speed for the NFL; in 2004 he won the gold medal in the 100-meter. Recently, in a workout in Houston he ran a 4.1 second 40-yard dash. While Gatlin is testing his hand as a wide receiver in mini-camp, his most likely position if he makes a team will be returning kicks.
Gatlin has the perfect agent for helping him find a place in this league. Renaldo Nehemiah, one of two U.S. Olympic track gold medal winners to play in the league, is representing Gatlin. John Gruden sums it up the best though, saying, “If his speed can transfer to football, you have a real threat. If it can’t, then it won’t work.”