Despite being stuck in the dumpster fire that was the 2013 Cleveland Browns, wide receiver Josh Gordon was easily one of my top five favorite players to watch last season. With Norv Turner as offensive coordinator, it didn’t matter who was the latest starting quarterback in Cleveland, Gordon was going to be a hell of a lot of fun to watch each Sunday.
Gordon has always had struggles when it came to staying clean. The result was getting kicked off a team, sitting out a year, and having to enter the NFL via the supplemental Draft. The Browns took a gamble, giving up a second rounder to get him, but it looked like a gamble that would pay off if he could stay clean.
Apparently that “if” was just too big.
After serving a suspension at the beginning of last season under the substance abuse policy, Gordon enters 2014 with much bigger concerns and some wondering if he’ll ever suit up again. Another failed drug test has him facing a year-long suspension (appeal pending) and then he was arrested for driving while impaired last weekend.
The incredible talent Gordon possesses is absolutely useless if he can’t keep his head straight and stay eligible to play. It remains to be seen how Cleveland will handle this situation, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume they no longer have trust their young superstar.
My question for you today is whether or not you would be interested in Gordon if you were an NFL G.M. Pretend you run the Vikings, for instance, how would you proceed?
Hall of Fame wide out Cris Carter recently suggested that the Browns will have to cut Gordon in order for him to learn the lessons he needs to learn. Carter’s career, of course, got started down a very similar path. Philadelphia ultimately cut Carter and the Vikings were the beneficiaries of the move, as they were able to scoop up a humbled and matured Carter that had finally started to see the light.
It isn’t a certainty that Gordon will ever see the light. It is a very strong possibility that he doesn’t see an NFL football field until 2015 or later. Even if he missed two entire seasons, however, he would still only be 25 years old upon his return. Some team will surely give him a chance when he returns and more than one NFL team is probably very interested in owning his rights in the meantime.