The NFL suspended cornerback Justin Gilbert for four games, helping to cement his status as one of the worst picks in Cleveland Browns history.
Free agent cornerback Justin Gilbert has been suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the 2017 regular season, reportedly because he ran afoul of the league’s Substances of Abuse policy.
General managers across the league are likely waking up to the news in surprise that the league would bother suspending a player than none of the league’s 32 teams has any interest in signing to a contract.
Gilbert was a member of former Cleveland general manager Ray Farmer’s famed draft in 2014, his first in charge of the Browns, which will go down as the worst first round in NFL history.
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The Browns had the fourth overall pick that year, but rather than be content with selecting linebacker Khalil Mack – who is now a two-time Pro Bowl selection and the reigning Defensive Player of the Year – Farmer traded out of the spot and eventually selected Gilbert with the No. 8 overall selection.
Farmer would double down on his mistake later that night as he traded back into the first round to select quarterback Johnny Manziel, rather than an actual NFL player like Derek Carr.
We told you it was an historically horrible night and it goes a long way toward explaining while Farmer is a former general manager.
Gilbert’s time in Cleveland was a mess, as he rarely played, rarely cared about playing, and was repeatedly called out by veterans on the team for his attitude.
He appeared in 23 games for the Browns over two seasons, making just three starts.
In what has to be classified as a minor miracle, executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown was able to trade Gilbert to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a sixth-round draft pick following training camp in 2016. The Browns were going to release Gilbert anyway, so getting something in return, and from the Steelers no less, is kind of impressive.
While some erroneously believed that the Steelers would resurrect Gilbert’s career, he only appeared in 12 games for Pittsburgh, primarily on special teams, before once again being released.