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Josh Gordon: Promising Cleveland Browns Career Never Panned Out


In what may not come as a surprise to many in NFL circles, the Cleveland Browns have decided to part ways with wide receiver Josh Gordon, per ESPN’s Dan Graziano.

Gordon, 25, who once led the NFL in receiving yards with 1,646 yards receiving in 14 games in 2013, has been plagued with off-the-field issues dealing with drug and substance abuse during his way too short but once-promising football career.

A former supplemental draft pick out of Baylor in 2012, the 6’3 225-pounder showed flashes of All-Pro talent, thanks to his combination of height and speed.

Sadly, the demons that would prove to be a bane of his NFL career, were birthed on those hot plains of West Texas. Back in 2010 at Baylor, he failed three drug tests for marijuana use which led to his dismissal, where he would fail another drug test.

Despite all of this, the ever-needy—and uber-desperate—Cleveland Browns used a supplemental pick on Gordon, in the hopes that they could resuscitate his promising football career.

Unfortunately for the Browns, it would be a case of the old French proverb of, the more the things stay the same, the more they change.

Below is Gordon’s real stat sheet.

  • June 2013 – Suspended 2 games for failed drug test
  • July 2014 – Arrested and charged with DWI
  • Feb 2015 – Failed drug test; suspended for at least one year
  • Mar 2016 – Reportedly failed drug test
  • July 2016 – Reinstated by NFL on conditional basis
  • Thursday – Announces that he will enter rehab

If the earlier reports of Gordon entering rehab, per OBR’s Fred Greetham, are true, due to allegedly trying to smuggle a pound of marijuana thru Cleveland’s Hopkins Airport and detained by TSA, per Lane Adkins of Orange and Brown Report are also true—and later retracted—then Gordon faces bigger issues than trying to break press man coverage.

Clearly, at this point in his troubled life, Gordon is doing the right thing in stepping away from the game. If not for himself, then for the sake of his one-year-old daughter, that he just submitted a DNA test in a recently publicized paternity suit, that had a warrant out for his arrest.

In a rare case of competence and foresight, the Cleveland Browns and their new front office of Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta look like the Havard geniuses that they are in drafting four wide receivers in Corey Coleman, Ricardo Louis, Rashard Higgins and Jordan Payton, due to the unreliability of the man once known as Flash.

There is an NFL saying that goes, availability is the best ability. Sadly, despite all of his physical attributes and raw talent, Gordon’s biggest liability was his ability to be unavailable to the Browns. To their credit, Cleveland stood behind him, the fans were behind him and excited for his return.

Clearly, Gordon has not exorcised the demons of his haunted past and still-tragic present. Sadly, they are the reasons why both is the time in Cleveland and once-promising NFL career has all but gone up in smoke.


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]