I must admit that I prefer when the AFC North makes it easy on me to decide what to write about for any given today. Today is one of those days, and this one comes to us courtesy of the Cleveland Browns and their rather troubled—and formerly rather talented—wide receiver, Josh Gordon.
Gordon has last suited up for a meaningful game at the end of the 2014 season, for the majority of which he was suspended. In fact, he has only been off the suspended list four just six games in the past three seasons, dating back to 2014. You might recall that he was a first-team All-Pro in 2013.
The former second-round draft pick in the supplemental draft of 2012 applied for reinstatement back in March, around the same time as Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant. Bryant got word a couple of weeks back that he was being reinstated on a conditional basis.
Yesterday, Gordon received word that his application for reinstatement was denied. He will be given the opportunity to reapply for reinstatement later on in the year, but at this point, I don’t think that anybody should be holding their breath.
Gordon first served a two-game suspension in his second season in 2013. The following year, he was suspended for the entire season, but he later had the term reduced to 10 games. He returned in Week 10, but he was inactive for the season finale, and thus only played in five games.
Following that trial, the former All-Pro was hit with the indefinite suspension for the 2015 season, the same as Bryant served last year, which requires at least a year out of the game before attempting to apply for reinstatement.
Last year, Gordon’s initial application for reinstatement was deferred because the league wanted to see continued development from him, but later on in the summer he did get reinstated, only it came with an additional four-game suspension that he would serve at the start of the regular season.
And he did serve that suspension, but before he was able to return from the suspended list, he left the team in order to check into an in-patient rehabilitation facility in order to try to get his life back in order. According to his business manager earlier this year, it was going well. Since then, not so much.
A few weeks prior to this most recent news of the denial of his application, we also learned yesterday that his business manager parted ways with him, which is never a good sign. He was adamant that this would be a special year for Gordon. Right now, the chances of that happening are pretty slim.
The Browns obviously didn’t exactly have their hope up for having Gordon, but they certainly could have used him. While they brought in Kenny Britt to replace Terrelle Pryor and are returning Corey Coleman, the rest of their receiving corps is fairly unspectacular, though they did add tight end David Njoku in the first round, who will be a significant target.