Cleveland Browns: Potential return date for Josh Gordon revealed

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 17: Josh Gordon /

With the Cleveland Browns organization being very guarded about the Josh Gordon situation, a potential return date has been revealed.

There has been a lot of uncertainty regarding when Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon will return to the team since he announced he will be missing the the beginning of training camp.

Despite Gordon saying he is missing camp to focus on his “overall health and treatment plan,” there have been questions about the real reason why he has yet to return to the team.

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Browns general manager John Dorsey has said that he believes Gordon will be with the team during the season. But he also says there is no timetable for his return.

However, a potential return date for Gordon has been revealed. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported that if Gordon does not return to the team by August 7th, he will not be eligible for restricted free agency until 2020.

"Because he’s on the reserve/did not report list, a failure by Gordon to report by August 7 will keep him from earning a year of credit toward free agency. Which will continue to keep him at only two years of credit toward free agency. And that will tie him to the Browns at least through 2019 – Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk"

Although Florio did not say that this contract stipulation will cause Gordon to return to the team by Tuesday, it seems like a potential day that would make sense for Gordon to return to the team.

After being drafted in the supplemental draft in 2012, Gordon has yet to truly make it to free agency. Due to his multiple suspensions over the course of his career, he has not accrued enough time on an NFL roster to reach free agency.

For Gordon, it would make sense for him to come back to the team on Tuesday so that he would not be playing on a rookie salary for the next two seasons.

When he is on the field, Gordon is a game-changer at wide receiver. He has the potential of being a top-tier receiver, but has not been on the field enough to prove it. Gordon has the talent to earn a one of the top contracts for wide receivers.

Despite how talented he is, teams will be very cautious about signing him to a big contract. Despite his efforts to stay clean off the field, his history would be very alarming to another team.

Even if Gordon returns to the team by Tuesday and does not have any problems off the field for the entire season, he may still have to sign a one-year, prove it deal in the off-season.

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Although Florio’s report does not indicate Gordon will return to the team on Tuesday, it would make a lot of sense for him and his future to come back to the team on August 7th. It helps potentially clear up a cloudy situation.