In what one can only hope is not a foreshadowing of the future that awaits Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant, the Cleveland Browns continue to be bogged down in the unfortunate story of talented wide receiver Josh Gordon, who was suspended for the duration of the 2015 season, with request for reinstatement still pending.
Gordon was suspended in February of last season, which means that he should have been able to be eligible to apply for reinstatement around that time, or rather a bit earlier, much as Bryant’s suspension will be eligible for reinstatement beginning at around a year from the time that his suspension took effect.
There had been some questions for a while now, as we finally near the draft, as to why the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell had not yet reinstated Gordon, or at least took some sort of action on the situation, but it appears that we may have been delivered the answer to that question yesterday.
A source, likely from the league office, informed Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports that the 2012 second-round supplemental draft pick has since being suspended failed another drug test. According to Mary Kay Cabot, writing for Cleveland.com, this likely means that Gordon is unlikely to be reinstated for the 2016 season.
According to the reports, Gordon failed tests for both marijuana and a diluting agent, which, if I am understanding it correctly, suggests that the wide receiver attempted to conceal his drug usage, which would be logical given the predicament that he is in.
At last month’s owners meetings, when addressing the topic, Goodell said that he would only meet with the troubled athlete “if appropriate”, implying if there is a valid reason to consider reinstating him, perhaps. Garafolo indicates that Goodell would have been aware of the positive test at this time.
Cabot quotes new Browns head coach Hue Jackson as saying recently at the meetings that “I’ve never had any contact with him, so I’m going to plan on what’s in our building now and go from there”. The general tone from the organization for much of the offseason has appeared to lean strongly toward one of distancing themselves from Gordon.
For his part, Gordon, who will turn 24 tomorrow, took to Twitter to express a flippant attitude toward the leak, indicating that there has been nothing newsworthy to the story. He, of course, has not exactly had the most stellar reputation for representing himself in the public well.
While the Steelers’ Bryant has not had quite the same reputation regarding his personal character, it is clear that he is facing many of the same issues as Gordon, both of whom have now been suspended multiple times for marijuana use, derailing very promising careers.
Gordon was an All-Pro wide receiver in his second season in 2013, but was limited to five games since then, with limited production, due to his suspensions. Bryant was suspended for the first four games of the 2014 season.
In spite of the obvious warning, however, Bryant continued to get himself into trouble, resulting in his current suspension, and given how events have already transpired, one will have to wonder if he will be able to sort his affairs to get himself reinstated in 2017, rather than following in Gordon’s footsteps a year from now.