Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon remains suspended by the NFL and may never play another game in a Browns uniform.
The Cleveland Browns drafted four wide receivers in the 2016 NFL Draft in order to jumpstart a position that has lacked playmakers for far too long.
The last star to lineup at receiver for the Browns was Josh Gordon, who last played in 2014. From 2012-2013, Gordon had a combined 2,451 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns, and looked to be someone who could help the Browns escape the dregs of the AFC North.
His two-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy in 2013 did not seem too bad at the time, until it became a 10-game suspension in 2014 and then a 16-game suspension in 2015 after repeated violations.
Gordon has had issues with both alcohol and marijuana and while personal or political beliefs may attempt to diminish what crime he has truly committed, the fact is that he broke the NFL’s rules which were laid out to him.
Gordon knew the boundaries and has repeatedly failed to work within the rules, no matter one’s personal beliefs on the makeup of the rules.
This type of behavior is eerily similar that of Johnny Manziel, who continually tricked the organization and fans alike into thinking he was ready to move on from his past actions and commit to being an active member of the franchise.
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Gordon has even received a positive endorsement from Jim Brown, but it was more on Gordon’s character than a definite statement that he is ready to return.
Brown also spoke on how suspensions for marijuana use may not be logical since it is legal in some states, but as long as it is banned by the NFL, players must be aware of the consequences, no matter the perceived fairness of the rule.
The earliest Gordon could come back is October of this year, and that is only if the NFL deems him ready to return. Based on his past actions, this seems like a slim possibility.
At this point the organization may just be holding onto Gordon as a potential trade option. When Gordon last played in 2014, his presence disrupted an offense that seemed poised to lead the team to the playoffs, only to collapse after Gordon’s return.
Gordon is not to blame for the team losing the last five games of the season in 2014, but it was clear that Brian Hoyer could never figure things out with Gordon on offense, which led to Manziel being put in games, and we all know how that went.
The four rookie receivers are likely being looked at as the group to lead this Browns offense into the future, which means certain players from the past must be let go in order to move forward. Josh Gordon is one of those players.