After Justin Gatlin first faced his ban from professional track & field for steroid use, he started working out for a few NFL football teams. Nothing came from it, though, and none of the teams that he worked out for last year brought him in for a formal workout.

This offseason, however, he has gone in for a minicamp workout for Tampa Bay.

“This is where I want to be,” Gatlin said. “I didn’t come here on my high horse, all mighty, and saying give me a locker and let me do what I want to do. I’m starting from the ground up, and that’s where I want to start.” […] “He won a gold medal. He wants to give this a shot, and this is a good launching pad to see how quickly he picks it up, how natural he is and how far he has to go,” Gruden said.

If he gets signed, I think that he would do all right from himself as a football player. He would have to ramp up to participating in a contact sport, and he would have to do it fast enough to avoid getting cut. That is not a small hurdle, but he has played football before and he seems to be able to catch the ball. He could probably do all right as a kick-off or punt returner, and perhaps win a roster spot as a receiver after he has had the time to learn some routes and has proven that he can take a hit.

I think that if he does cross over from Track & Field to football, though, that he would not be able to go back. I think that he would become too beat up too fast to be able to be competitive as a sprinter. If his appeal loses and he does get banned from the sport, though, then his most competitive years would be lost to him anyway.