Cleveland Browns: Should Josh Gordon Be Allowed to Play?


The NFLPA and the NFL are beginning to get closer on a new deal that will revamp the substance abuse policy and will vote on it tomorrow. The new policy will change multiple areas of the policy including the amount of HGH levels in a sample. This will make the cases of a few players like Josh Gordon and Wes Welker even more controversial. With the new standards, both players would not have been suspended for Week 1, and Josh Gordon would have his entire suspension lifted. Will it happen?

The media has made the Josh Gordon case one of the most interesting stories this offseason. From announcing that he failed a drug test on the second day of the NFL Draft to his year-long suspension handed down on August 27th (6 months after failing the test). Gordon didn’t help his case much of staying out of the media by having someone with marijuana in his car at a traffic stop, and his DUI arrest in the early morning of July 5th. After his sentence was given, Josh took a job as a car salesman in Northeast Ohio.

Now, the media is giving speculation that Gordon may be reinstated if a new deal could be made. Other sources have denied this report. That leaves the question of should the NFL let him play even if they do change the drug policy. With the Ray Rice incident finally taking it’s course, do kids need to see that the NFL thinks it’s ok for it’s players to abuse drugs and just get a slap on the wrist?

As much as I want Josh Gordon to come back, I want to see Josh Gordon succeed as a man as well. As a teacher, I always want the best for my own students, but sometimes it’s the best to see them figure out things on their own. I may not be super strict as a teacher, but letting someone get away with breaking the rules, only lets them believe they can continuously break the rules. Josh Gordon is at the point in his life where if the NFL sweeps it under the rug, his problems will only continue. Gordon needs to see how great he has it in the NFL while trying to sell cars and realize on his own that he needs to stay clean.

If the NFL and the NFLPA do allow Josh Gordon to play, it should be with stipulations. First, Gordon should have to pass any drug test that could be given at any time during the season. Second, He should have to take some type of drug and alcohol abuse program in his own time. Third, I believe that Josh Gordon should go and spend time with youth that are in the correctional system because of drug related issues. Hopefully, if he were to see firsthand how it affects kids’ lives, then maybe he would understand his own problems. Last, someone should be his close mentor this season on and off the field. I’m not saying Michael Irving has to be the guy, but I think a veteran like Donte Whitner, Karlos Dansby, or Miles Austin could steer him in the correct path.

Tomorrow will mark another milestone in the amazing case of Josh Gordon with the NFLPA’s decision. My hope is that both sides come to an agreement and Gordon is able to turn his life around and he can play this season. My fear is that they let him play and he continues to get in trouble. One more strike with the NFL though, and Josh Gordon will end up like Ray Rice, out of the league and a slim chance of ever playing football again.

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