Josh Gordon has let the Browns front office, coaches, players, fans, and himself down again and again and again. After a failed test for alcohol, he is now facing an indefinite suspension from the NFL and can be reinstated after 1 year pending certain stipulations. Gordon has been forced to be tested for banned substances for the majority of his NFL career due to the numerous failed tests and run-ins with the law. But this last failed test is the last straw for myself and thousands of Browns fans.
Like many fans, I fell in love with Gordon’s talent after watching his first two seasons. His combination of size and speed is unlike any receiver the Browns have had since ’99. But when does his off-field issues begin to outweigh his talent and team contributions? I believe this last failed test is it.
Gordon did not perform all that well this season after missing the first 10 games and the offense actually struggled upon his return. I am not blaming this entirely on him because there are other issues with the offense that contributed to this; but something changed when he came back.
There were times not only this season, but in the prior seasons, where it was clear that Gordon wasn’t giving 100% in games. He is obviously still an extremely immature person as proven by his five failed substance tests, dating back to his days at Baylor. Add several excessive speeding tickets and a DWI charge on top of all that and it becomes apparent he is not learning from his mistakes. Although he claims to have learned from all these events but continues to make the same blunders time and time again.
This is why I don’t see him suddenly changing his lifestyle as he has acted this way his entire life. Maybe because he is always given a 2nd, 3rd and 4th chance.
Cutting Gordon is the best decision for not only the Browns but Josh Gordon too. I think Gordon could benefit from a reality check by being released. The suspensions are evidently not enough of a punishment for him to change his ways. By removing a troubled player like Josh Gordon, it sends a clear message to the team saying that his actions will not be tolerated, regardless of how talented the player. I’m confident that this will improve the team culture and demonstrate to the players that they will have to respect themselves and the organization if they want to play for the Browns.
But wouldn’t cutting Josh Gordon leave the Browns with one of the worst overall group of receivers in the NFL? The answer is yes, but look at this year’s Super Bowl. Both the Seahawks and the Patriots lack a true elite receiver with guys like Danny Amendola Brandon LeFell, Jermaine Kearse, and Doug Baldwin.
A great wide receiver doesn’t make or break an offense. Furthermore, this offseason features maybe the best wide receiver free agent pool ever and there are numerous receivers to be selected in the draft, I’m looking at you DeVante Parker.
When it comes down to it, a change of scenery for Gordon could do him some good; a new start. The Browns can show they will not tolerate immaturity or someone who constantly makes the same mistakes. They will have plenty of time to make this decision and see if he wins an appeal or another rule change saves his season.
Nonetheless, I don’t see Josh Gordon ever playing another down for the Browns. I am hoping Gordon can get his career and life back on track because he is a uniquely talented football player. Great thing about the sports fans, they love to see a comeback. Best of luck Josh.
*Photo courtesy of CBS Sports