There is a lot of excitement surrounding Cleveland Browns second-year wide receiver Josh Gordon, but there is also plenty of concern about how he has been handling himself off the field. After learning that Gordon has been hit with a two-game suspension to start the season, news has surfaced about some changes he has made.
According to reports, Gordon has begun taking to the Miami nightlife after surrounding himself with a completely new group of friends.
For a kid that had maturity concerns coming in to the league, it is obviously something that the Browns will have to keep a close eye on as they try to mold Gordon in to the best receiver they can on the field.
As a rookie, Gordon was somewhat shy and a bit of a loner. He was force-fed into a starting role after not playing in college for two seasons due to suspensions and transfer. During the Browns season, Gordon had virtually no leisure time away from football. As a result, his phenomenal skills were directed to a productive first season. The third-youngest player in the NFL last year, Gordon took small steps on the road to stardom.
But when his first season ended, something happened to Gordon. He changed agents. According to a source, he gravitated to South Beach in south Florida – the party haven of young pro athletes — and ran with a different crowd. He was influenced by the wrong people. He tested positive for a banned NFL substance — codeine, Gordon said in a statement — and was slapped with a two-game suspension to start the 2013 season, and fined a total of four game checks.
This is obviously not what you want to hear regarding your star receiver off the field, especially when he has all of the raw talent to really become something special.
Gordon showed flashes of brilliance in his rookie season and there was no telling what he could be able to do if he would focus all of his energy in to becoming a better football player.
When the season rolls around, Gordon is still a prime candidate to have a breakout year (especially in the Browns new vertical offense) after he returns from his suspension, but he will have to leave the distractions behind so that his true talents will shine.