Josh Gordon Unlikely to Return to Browns Based on GM’s Comments


Josh Gordon was officially suspended for a year by the NFL today for violating the NFL policy on substance abuse. In the release on their official site the Cleveland Browns noted as much and GM Ray Farmer‘s comments were strong:

"“As we have conveyed, we are disappointed to once again be at this point with Josh. Throughout his career we have tried to assist him in getting support like we would with any member of our organization,” Browns general manager Ray Farmer said. “Unfortunately our efforts have not resonated with him. It is evident that Josh needs to make some substantial strides to live up to the positive culture we are trying to build this football team upon. Our hope is that this suspension affords Josh the opportunity to gain some clarity in determining what he wants to accomplish moving forward and if he wants a career in the National Football League. We will have no further comment on Josh as he will not be permitted in our facility for the duration of his suspension.”"

Not only was Farmer’s wording strong it also had some words that were interesting. First he talks about Gordon needing to make changes to “live up to the positive culture we are trying to build this football team upon.” We all have heard the “Play Like a Brown” thing but Farmer and HC Mike Pettine seem to truly believe in it.

Yet then Farmer changes something near the end of his statement. When talking about Gordon’s need to figure some things out Farmer ends the sentence with “… if he wants a career in the National Football League.” Now we don’t want to overreact to one sentence but Farmer changes from talking about Gordon and the Browns as a pair to talking about Gordon and the NFL.

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Based on Farmer’s comments, and just plain common sense, it seems that Gordon may have played his last down for the Cleveland Browns. He may never play another down in the NFL either. Yet do not expect the Browns to cut Gordon anytime soon, they have no reason to. They hold his rights for the 2016 season and he will be a restricted free agent going into the 2017 season. He has a year to prove he has turned his life around. If the Browns do not feel like he has, or they just want to move on, they cut him once he is reinstated.

“Once he is reinstated” is an important clause. While we talk about Gordon’s suspension as a year suspension we need to be clear that he is actually suspended for “at least one year.” Much like Justin Blackmon of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Gordon will have to prove that he is worthy of returning to the NFL. If he doesn’t, he will remain on the suspended list and the Browns do not have to do anything.

The most important thing for Gordon is to get his life in order and figure some things out. After that it would be great for the Browns and their fans if Gordon comes back and dominates the league with that great talent we know he has. If not, much like the Jags did, the Browns are bound to move on from Gordon even while he is suspended.

What do you think of Ray Farmer’s statement about Josh Gordon?

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