Cleveland Browns: Josh Gordon will reportedly apply for reinstatement
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon will reportedly apply to be reinstated to the NFL. Will this finally signal his return to the Browns?
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon – who has missed the past two seasons due to suspensions for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policies – will reportedly apply for reinstatement today.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the news this morning on his Twitter feed:
Gordon led the NFL in receiving in 2013 despite missing the season’s first two games. Since then, however, he has missed 43 of Cleveland’s past 48 games due to various suspensions.
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According to Schefter, Gordon’s business manager, Michael Johnson, released the following statement about his client’s decision to apply for reinstatement:
"“Josh is living with me and is in the best place mentally that he has been in dating back years before entering the NFL. He has taken the proper steps to treat his issues and has followed a very strict protocol that the league and our team here has laid out for him. He’s also in the best shape of his life and feels even better than he did when he had his breakout year in 2013. This will be a special year for Josh and we are all very proud of the way he has taken the necessary steps to turn his life around.”"
Browns fans will remember Gordon for that magical 2013 season, but also for the repeated failed drug tests over the years. Last season, Gordon appeared to on the right track to returning to the field following his latest suspension, only to suddenly made the decision to enter rehab before his possible reinstatement.
The following day, head coach Hue Jackson issued his last public comments about Gordon.
“What’s best for our football team is that we move forward and move on,” Jackson said at the time, according to cleveland.com. “He’s not going to be with us and we wish him well, but we’re moving forward. We’re going to move on. Obviously Josh is not here and doing what he thinks he needs to for his life which we support 100 percent and after today, today is really the last Josh Gordon comment I want to make about that.”
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Once he officially files the paperwork for reinstatement there is no definitive timetable on when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has to make a decision, and given how these situations have gone in the past don’t expect a quick ruling.
Ultimately there are a few scenarios for how this can play out:
- Goodell can allow Gordon to return to the Browns for offseason activities, but keep him on the suspended list, similar to what happened last fall when Gordon was suspended for the first four games of the season but was allowed to attend team meetings.
- Goodell can immediately and unconditionally reinstate Gordon, leaving his immediate future in the hands of the Browns.
- Goodell can do nothing for the time being, giving everyone involved an opportunity to decide what the best course of action is regarding Gordon’s future place with the Browns and within the NFL.
Executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown conveniently had a media session at the NFL Scouting Combine today and reiterated that nothing has changed from the team’s point of view regarding Gordon:
No one can be certain that the NFL will let Gordon back in the league, or that he will even be a member of the Browns in 2017. No one can even be certain of what to expect from Gordon if he is reinstated as has hasn’t played in a regular season game since 2014.
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One thing is certain though, the Browns need all the help they can get and the 2013 version of Gordon could certainly make an impact on the field this fall.