As the Steelers excitedly wait on word from Roger Goodell about the future of their own talented but troubled wide receiver, the Cleveland Browns are taking a much more blasé approach toward the potential reinstatement of their own.
While wide receiver Martavis Bryant is hoping to hear soon about being reinstated after serving an indefinite suspension for the entire duration of the 2016 season, the Browns’ Josh Gordon is also hoping to hear good news on his own application for reinstatement, but Cleveland doesn’t appear to be very interested in getting him back, nor do they view him as part of their future any longer.
Gordon is evidently expecting to get a decision from Goodell in roughly a month’s time, if not a bit more than that—hopefully Bryant will learn his fate sooner—but should he be reinstated, it seems highly unlikely that he will resume his football career in Cleveland.
According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, a source told the website that, as she writes, “they’ll likely try to trade him or possibly even release him”, noting that they still have his rights for two more seasons should he be reinstated.
Cabot notes that the Browns have been infinitely patient with the 2013 first-team All-Pro wide receiver, who has spent 43 of the team’s past 48 games suspended. He served an indefinite suspension during the 2015 season and was conditionally reinstated for the 2016 season.
Part of that conditional reinstatement was the serving of an additional four-game suspension for a subsequent violation, but while he was serving that suspension, Gordon checked himself into a rehabilitation facility and thus never actually came off the suspended list. At that point the Browns had determined to move on from him once and for all.
As for the man himself, he is reportedly training with Tim Montgomery, a former Olympian who has had his own substance abuse issues and now works with troubled athletes to help get their careers back on track.
Gordon is currently living with his business partner, who claims that the wide receiver under his watchful eye is doing as well as he has been since even years before he even entered the NFL. His business partner has also stressed the extent to which he has accepted responsibility for the poor decisions he has made that have placed him in the position he finds himself.
Cabot believes that the one advocate Gordon has in Berea would be Jim Brown, who helped broker his conditional reinstatement last year, but Brown makes no decisions for the team. Sashi Brown does, and sounded like he didn’t even want to talk about it.
Hue Jackson was also asked about Gordon during the Combine recently, and he also avoided the subject. “He’s not reinstated yet, so I think it would be premature to get in any discussion about that”, he said, adding that “I’m sure we’ll deal with it in the future when the time comes”.