Talented Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle David Irving, who has been mostly absent from the team this off-season (as well out as out of shape), is going to practice with the team at the mandatory minicamp, which starts Tuesday. Or so we think.
At least that's what his advisers believe and hope.
They are no different from a lot of the Cowboys coaches and staffers who cross their fingers that this will be the day Irving gets it.
Irving's off-season, while ultimately on him, can partly be explained by a chaotic personal life that features a nasty custody dispute with his ex-girlfriend, who is the mother of their 5-year-old daughter.
"David wants to be an actor and it's something he does very well," said his ex-girlfriend, Angela Sanchez, who has been on and off with Irving for approximately seven years. "He's very good with words. He's a master manipulator. I have dealt with him for seven years. I see things that are not very good.
"(The relationship) was very dysfunctional. There are people who know the relationship would say that. That's the reason I decided it was not going to work.
"If David was more focused on football and not everything else (he would be fine); but he's not mentally strong enough to put all of that to the side. He has all of these distractions and now, since we're not together, I think that's a big deal for him. If he focused his energy on being a football player rather than making me regret certain things he would (do well)."
On April 23, the relationship between Irving and Sanchez reached a low point when she took over his Twitter account and tweeted a variety of accusations, including tales of assault and failed drug tests.
She later recanted her accusations, but the Frisco police department kept the case open.
When asked if Irving assaulted her, Sanchez said no.
She previously accused him of assault when they were together while he was at Iowa State. She later requested all charges be dropped.
On May 14, Irving went to Southern California, where he legally retrieved the couple's daughter and took her back to Texas.
"I am sick of people attacking me and I am not going to hold my tongue about it any longer," Sanchez, 23, said. "I'm tired of having my named dragged in the dirt. I don't talk to David at all; he's not mature enough to have the conversation. He said, 'If I am not with him, I'm against him.' He doesn't let me speak (to their daughter). He doesn't let me see her.
"I just want to have my daughter and to be out of his life. I don't care about child support. I am not worried about his money."
This is one side of the story, and clearly the issue is clouded by hurt feelings and resentment. There is also no immediate end in sight to this issue for a player who is entering a vulnerable point in his professional career.
Irving has never been able to shake these sorts of "distraction tales" that NFL teams eventually grow sick of and dump the players associated with them.
Despite his immense talent, he was kicked out of Iowa State for a reason.
Despite his immense talent, he went undrafted for a reason.
Despite his immense talent, the Kansas City Chiefs put him on the practice squad rather than the active roster in 2015 for a reason.
Despite his immense talent, and now proven NFL production, the Dallas Cowboys agreed to only a one year, $2.91 million deal with him for a reason.
As a restricted free agent, he was given a second-round tender.
He's only 24, and in eight games last season he had seven sacks. He had to serve a four-game suspension last season for violating the league's ban on PEDs. He also had a variety of injuries, including a concussion.
The Cowboys are looking for any reason to give him a monster extension, but every time they want to do that something happens that makes them pause.
If he has a solid 2018 season, he will be the most attractive defensive tackle in the free-agent market. He would cash in.
According to his associates, the off-season has taken a toll on Irving, who has been struggling to even sleep well.
Both the Cowboys and his associates are trying to line him up to succeed, and are cautiously optimistic he will do that.
He's bright. He's charming. He's affable. He's talented. He's engaging. He's got everything.
What he doesn't have is a calm personal life, and that, maybe more than anything else, is clearly affecting his professional life.