UPDATE: As of September 15th, it was announced Josh Gordon will be released from the Browns.
There is no denying the pure talent that wide receiver Josh Gordon has inside of him. From his 2013 season where he racked up 1,646 yards receiving and nine touchdowns to the flashes he showed last year, the man has a gift. But news broke just before training camp that Gordon would not be attending the practices and the speculation began.
Automatically, people jumped to the conclusion that he failed another drug test and that is a fair assumption to make with his history. Then, it turned into a mental health issue where everyone respected Gordon for taking responsibility for his health before the season. Now, it turns out that there is a child support issue and he owes the mother of his child $6,765 from August first. He could even spend 30 days in jail because of this.
Honestly, I have been a longtime defender of Josh from the #FreeJoshGordon movement because of suspensions I felt were unfair do to marijuana use. I always wanted to see him on the field because he makes the Browns that much better.
This time around, I was very suspicious. If he failed a drug test, we’d eventually know about it. If he was having mental health issues, why were there videos of him working out in Florida? If his mental health is so out of control that he cannot withstand the cameras from Hard Knocks, how is he expected to perform every Sunday? It doesn’t appear the Browns chose to shield him from Hard Knocks, it was his choice not to report.
Additionally, despite his talent, he needs practice time with the quarterbacks to learn the playbook and gain chemistry with the quarterbacks. The regular season is creeping closer and closer.
So this got me thinking about the future…
The Browns are trying to change the dreadful culture of this franchise and despite Gordon’s amazing talent, he represents everything Cleveland is not. He’s unreliable, he’s unavailable and he doesn’t seem to learn from his mistakes. When you have a child, it’s a responsibility to pay child support. Millions of Americans pay it and still manage to work. That’s not a mental health issue or a drug issue, that’s an accountability issue.
Let’s say Gordon figures everything out and is ready for Week 1. Great! We got him on the field. But Gordon is one puff away, one bad night away from never playing football again. It could come this year or it could be in a year where the Browns are trying to make the playoffs in the future.
Is Josh Gordon worth the risk?
Honestly, I’m starting to think it’s a no. The Browns need to build a winning culture just as much as they need talent. Gordon has so many issues he needs to work on that have nothing to do with football. Of course, I’d welcome him back to the team if he was ready but fans must know the risk of having him in a prominent role. And always, I wish him the best of luck with his personal issues.
Josh Gordon: One day he’s there and the next he’s gone.