Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Darrell Russell has been reinstated by the NFL, according to his attorney, David Cornwell, and the league, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Sunday.
Russell, 27, tested positive for the club drug Ecstasy last season and was serving a one-year suspension after NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue turned down his appeal. Under the suspension, Russell was not eligible to play again until Jan. 2, 2004.
Russell also sat out the first four games of the 2002 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Redskins officials performed a background check on Russell, the second overall choice in 1997 out of Southern Cal, and would feel comfortable signing him, sources told The Washington Post.
Washington is in need of someone who brings consistency to the defensive tackle position, having lost Daryl Gardener to Denver via free agency and released Dan Wilkinson in training camp, The Post reported.
The Raiders are expected to release Russell Monday or Tuesday, and Russell is expected to sign with the Washington Redskins by Wednesday, according to Mortensen.