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Josh Gordon: Return makes Cleveland Browns a team to watch


July 25, 2016

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Thanks to Roger Goodell, the New England Patriots vs. Cleveland Browns game on October 9th just got more interesting. Josh Gordan will be eligible to play in the game

In what may be another sign of Cleveland sports teams’ newfound positive fortunes, the Browns gained a much-needed shot in the arm in wide receiver Josh Gordon being conditionally reinstated, per NFL’s Ian Rappaport.

Gordon, who met with NFL commissioner Goodell in New York last week, was suspended for one year for violating the league’s drug and substance abuse policy in 2015. Also of note is that due to his year-long suspension that was first handed down on Week 17, will make the former Baylor standout a restricted free agent in 2017.

His reinstatement enables him to participate in training camp. He is eligible to return to action on October 3rd, which is the same week that a certain four-time Super Bowl champion and a very motivated Tom Brady returns from his Deflategate suspension. Unlike Brady, Gordon can be in contact with the team during his four-game suspension

Back to the Browns for a moment.

In getting Gordon back, a once seemingly maligned vanilla offense instantly upgrades into a borderline top-ten offense. While a lot of factors will need to align in Cleveland’s favor, such as projected starting quarterback Robert Griffin III staying healthy, the development of rookie dynamo in Corey Coleman and the performance of Pro Bowl tight end Gary Barnidge.

Gordon would immediately open up the field vertically and give the Browns their true No.1 receiver that they need. Combine that with Hue Jackson’s commitment to the run with Isaiah Crowell and third-down specialist Duke Johnson out of the backfield, and there will be plenty of chances for Gordon to make plays.

The only question lingering in the back of Dawg Pound Nation’s mind is can Gordon stay clean?

For someone with so much physical and athletic talent at 6’3 and a solid 225, Gordon’s off the field troubles were one of the reasons why the Browns drafted four wide receivers during the i2016 NFL Draft in Coleman, Rashard Higgins, Ricardo Louis and Jordan Payton.

Terrelle Pryor’s conversion from quarterback to wide receiver makes you wonder, who the odd man out at WR will likely be when Gordon returns.

For now, one of the NFL’s genuinely talented individuals in Gordon is back, and a seemingly reborn RGIII and an upgraded roster will make the once-sorry and perennially sad-sack Browns a team to watch in 2016.

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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 robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com