Cleveland Browns shockingly to move on from Josh Gordon, and something doesn’t add up
Well, this is a stunner.
Even after all the self-dug holes out of which Josh Gordon pulled himself, the news that the Cleveland Browns are moving on from their talented but troubled wide receiver still comes as a shock on Saturday.
The team had stuck with Gordon, 27, through all his personal troubles over a period of six years but will part ways with him on Monday officially. Even with Gordon’s multiple suspensions and missed time rendering him a third-year veteran, he has accrued enough NFL service to be a free agent then.
Here is the team’s statement in full:
“This afternoon we informed Josh Gordon and his representatives that we are going to release him on Monday,” Browns general manager John Dorsey said. “For the past six years, the Browns have fully supported and invested in Josh, both personally and professionally and wanted the best for him, but unfortunately we’ve reached a point where we feel it’s best to part ways and move forward. We wish Josh well.”
Earlier in the day Gordon had been ruled out suddenly from Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints with a hamstring that had previously not been reported. Gordon reportedly had told the team his hamstring was bothering him.
According to a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Gordon hurt his hamstring at a promotional shoot, not at practice, per a source. Schefter later tweeted that league sources think the Browns will attempt to trade Gordon prior to Monday.
There’s also a report from cleveland.com indicating that Gordon was “not himself” when he showed up late to the team’s Berea, Ohio facility on Saturday for treatment and there is suspicion that he might have slipped back into substance abuse, which has led to Gordon being suspended for 56 of a possible 97 games in his Browns career.
Gordon had just rejoined the team on Aug. 18. He remained away from the facility after receiving treatment in Florida but was cleared for the Week 1 game against the Steelers in which he played 70 snaps and caught a touchdown.
We don’t know the official word yet, but the Browns clearly reached the end of their rope with Gordon, who is one of the most talented receivers in the NFL but has struggled with his sobriety and been a thorn in the Browns’ side after the team went above and beyond to help him recover.
Now it’s any guess what the next step might be for him and whether another team is willing to bring him on board. But given Gordon’s talent, it’s likely that more than one receiver-needy club will be fascinated by the idea of doing what the Browns ultimately could not: tap into his vast well of talent while also steering him clear of his many troubles.