This article is a tough one for me, as I, to some degree, feel that it has the “breaking up with a girlfriend” vibe to it.

Picked in the supplemental draft back in 2012, Josh Gordon came to Cleveland with two drug-related offense at Baylor University. Although he caught 50 balls for 805 yards and 5 touchdowns in his rookie year here in Cleveland, that still lingered…

Then, on June 7, 2013, the NFL announced that Gordon would serve a two game suspension to start the 2013 season due breaking the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Another slip up would result in the talented wide receiver having to sit out a full season of football.

In all honesty, I’ve never watched a player wearing the orange and brown that was quite as talented or explosive as Josh Gordon was in 2013. 87 catches, 1,646 yards and 9 touchdowns.

He led the NFL in receiving, only playing in 14 games for the Browns.

I just remember that magical feeling of a pass being lofted in the air, and simply knowing that somehow, someway, Josh Gordon was going to find a way to catch it. He was not afraid to take a hit, but could also dish out some nasty stiff-arms of his own. His long strides made him impossible to catch in the open field.

Look at all of these NFL records he broke:

  • Most consecutive games, 200+ yards receiving: 2 (11/24/13, 237 yards; 12/01/13, 261 yards)
  • Most receiving yards, two-game span: 504 yards (11/24/13, 237 yards; 12/01/13, 261 yards)
  • Most receiving yards, three-game span: 665 yards (11/24/13, 237 yards; 12/01/13, 267 yards; 12/08/13, 151 yards)
  • Most receiving yards, four-game span: 774 yards (11/17/13, 125 yards; 11/24/13, 237 yards; 12/01/13, 267 yards; 12/08/13, 151 yards)

As I look at all of those records above, it’s very difficult for me to say this. However, after hearing word of Josh Gordon allegedly failing another drug test, it’s time for the Cleveland Browns to part ways with the star. Even if he is able to cut his year-long banishment to a suspension of six games, I don’t care.

It’s now four times that Gordon has been punished for drug-related incidents. It’s impossible to build a team around a guy that just simply doesn’t learn from his mistakes, no matter how talented a wide receiver he is.

We are trying to build a culture here in Cleveland that doesn’t put up with any garbage. All great teams have that identity. I’d rather toss Josh Gordon out, and take the total loss now. That way, we can find a wide receiver to fill the void sooner rather than later when he fails another drug test in the future.

Sure, one could argue that Gordon will be back for the 2015 season or even midway through 14, but it’s not like you can ever guarantee that he won’t fail another test. In a future season, the Browns could be 13-3 and finally heading to the playoffs when it’s announced that Gordon slipped again. Then what? Who takes over his position for the playoffs?

There’s no denying that Josh Gordon’s talents on the field are purely awesome, but we can’t play this game with him any longer. It’s time to find a guy that’s capable of replacing him to some degree.

It’s a damn shame that a talent like Gordon just couldn’t stay clean, but we all have our flaws in life. I’m not about to act like I’m a perfect person either.

I wish Josh the best of luck, but I just can’t trust him on my Browns.

-Zach Shafron

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