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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.

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. We’ve got a huge advantage, Norv Turner. Ask him if Gordon is a good[yet dumb] kid who will turn it and like Carter or if he’s a burnout who will waste his talent like JaMarcus Russell.

  2. This is a tough call. Having seen substance abuse in my family and among some close friends, it can be a terrible struggle. I have watched people loose their families and health over this issue. He needs to get his head out of his arse, clean up, stay sober, and try to make good on the blessings that God bestowed upon him. Otherwise, he will die broke, alone, and soon. If Gordon can be had on waivers, sure, get him and see what happens, knowing that it could be a train wreck, but at no cost to the team.

  3. You give him the Chris Cook treatment. You know, deep down that he is troubled and should cut him for all the obvious reasons, except well…they really need him. So they will carry on.

    Cleveland lacks WR the way we lacked CB when Cook “defended himself”. I think they will endure and hope even if they know there is no hope because they have to. Once they have more depth at WR, and the case for hope is exhausted then I think they will move on, but for today he is Brown and will likely be so at the very least until the league and law have rendered judgment.

  4. Unless this young man offers clear and compelling evidence of a major life change I would not touch him with the proverbial 10 foot pole. I don’t care how good he is.

    Think Percy Harvin head case on steroids.

  5. The NFL should not be in the business of testing for marijuana in the first place. The DWI offense is more concerning. But rather than a year suspension, hire a live-in social worker to help him out and keep an eye on him. Well worth 10% of his million-a-year salary.

    1. Why shouldn’t the NFL test for marijuana? If cashiers and factory workers get tested to make 10$ an hour why not test the guy making 10million a year and representing your brand. And while I’d love to have Gordon on the team hiring a glorified nanny for a man in his mid twenties is ridiculous, this is something he needs to figure out mentally he’s still in high school.