Cleveland Browns: Which players are in a contract year?
By Randy Gurzi
Josh Gordon, WR
The interesting story of Josh Gordon is about to go into another chapter. Originally drafted in the 2012 Supplemental Draft, Gordon has since embarked on the longest rookie contract in recent memory. Thanks to his off field issues and subsequent suspensions, he’s still locked in on his original deal and will be a restricted free agent in the offseason.
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Gordon’s issues have been well documented and this year will be all about him proving whether or not they’re in the past. He was suspended from Baylor while still playing collegiately for failing a drug test. He then entered the 2012 Supplemental Draft after sitting out the 2011 season with Utah — where he had transferred.
By 2013, the suspensions started in the NFL. He missed two games that year and then 11 the next. He was fortunate to play at all as his original one-year ban was reduced to 10 games. Gordon didn’t last long though as he was suspended for all of 2015 and 2016 before finally coming back late last year.
Cleveland wisely hasn’t put a lot of faith in him being the guy despite him still being eligible to play. They still have Corey Coleman, a first round pick from 2016 on the roster in addition to Landry. Cleveland also added Antonio Callaway in the draft.
If Gordon fails, they can let him go for good and trust their other options. If he finally does get it right, they control his status going forward with the restricted status. This is a huge year for both the player and the team.