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Josh Gordon may have a career waiting for him after his time in the NFL. The Cleveland wide receiver is back with the Browns after his 10-game drug suspension, but he left behind some new fans at an Ohio auto dealership.
Gordon spent several weeks selling cars at Sarchione Auto in Randolph, Ohio, showing up in a button-down shirt and Dockers, and talking up SUVs to customers.
One of Gordon's co-workers, Mike Sabatine, was impressed.
"He did really good," Sabatine said by phone on Tuesday afternoon. "A respectful young man. And he sold a lot of cars."
Sabatine estimates Gordon sold "a dozen in the time he was with us." That's roughly one per week, including a Chevy Suburban lease to Mike Miller, newly of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Not bad for a rookie.
Gordon didn't just stroll in and flaunt his NFL credentials to get some sales. Yes, he talked about the Browns to anyone who asked, but Sabatine says Gordon worked as hard as any other employee, and had a passion for cars.
"He was a great worker," Sabatine says. "He worked extra hours, too. He came in, checked the cars, followed up with sold and unsold customers."
He has brought that attitude back with him to the team complex. On Wednesday, Gordon told reporters he was "pumped" and he wanted to return to the team "in the best shape of my life." He was civil and diplomatic about his lengthy punishment, and his message to teammates was to "cherish every moment."
Quarterback Brian Hoyer, coming off the field from practice, told reporters, "You could tell he was amped up. Adrenaline was definitely flowing out there."
The Browns are thrilled their No. 1 receiver is no longer pushing product. Gordon was the NFL's leading pass-catcher in yards in 2013 and he made the Pro Bowl. Cleveland has six wins and a shot at the playoffs, especially with Gordon back. He told former teammate Nate Burleson recently that he intends to "tear this league up."
If he does, cars can wait. Or not.
"He's still somewhat with the company," Sabatine said. "I think he'll come back in the offseason too."