Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon is just 25 years old. There’s more than enough time for him to turn his career around, and get back on the All-Pro path he was on before drug suspensions got him off track.
The problem is that the NFL has to let him back in. Gordon, the NFL’s leading receiver in 2013 who has played just five games since then due to suspensions, started the process of getting reinstated earlier this month and is awaiting word from the NFL, according to ESPN. Perhaps in an effort to fix his image a bit, sources told ESPN that Gordon has made some changes.
ESPN reported that Gordon is working out with trainer Tim Montgomery in Florida. Montgomery once held the world record in the 100-meter dash, but was stripped of that after being involved in the BALCO performance-enhancing drugs scandal. He was also convicted in a check fraud scheme and for dealing heroin and sentenced to five years in prison in 2008, but now works with athletes to “avoid social and professional pitfalls in the face of substance abuse and peer pressure,” according to the NUMA Speed website.
Gordon also has a new agent, Joby Branion. As ESPN points out, Branion also represents Denver Broncos outside linebacker outside linebacker Von Miller, who has bounced back from some off-field issues.
Gordon is a unique case. It seems odd, but he’s the youngest player in the NFL with a receiving yardage title. He’s two years younger than T.Y. Hilton, who led the NFL in receiving yards last season. But he has played just 35 career games, has had a drug suspension each of the last four seasons, and hasn’t played at all for two years. He also had drug violations in college.
The Browns don’t seem to be depending on Gordon in the slightest, nor should they be. But it would be an incredible boon if they suddenly had Gordon back, if his mind is right and his skills haven’t eroded. He did, after all, have a 1,646-yard season in 14 games with Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden and Brian Hoyer as his quarterbacks. He can play.
There’s a long way to go before he can get his career back on track, if he’s allowed. Maybe some recent changes in his support group will help.
– – – – – – –