The Josh Gordon saga has gone on a trip down the Tunnel Of Infinite Sadness for the Cleveland Browns, but it didn’t necessarily have to end up that way. If the Browns’ former regime had had its way, Gordon would have been someone else’s problem by the time his year-long ban for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy came down.
Per Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (via PFT), former Browns executives Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi actually wanted to trade Josh Gordon, heading off any possibility of their being stuck with him if/when he transgressed again and received the inevitable one-year suspension. But others in the Browns organization, including former coach Rob Chudzinski, nixed the idea on the belief that Gordon had a good enough support system to overcome his love of weed.
According to Cabot’s story, the Browns would have gotten only a second-round pick for Gordon had they pulled off a trade. Obviously, a trade of Gordon for only a second rounder would have touched off an absolute fire storm in Cleveland. That fire storm is now happening anyway, and it’s not Banner, Lombardi or Chudzinksi’s problem because they’re all gone.
In the end, the majority of the blame for this mess must fall on the head of Josh Gordon. He can’t put down the smoke, and now he’s facing a one-year suspension. It’s a miserable situation for everyone involved, but the Browns don’t need to worry much longer, because Johnny Manziel will soon be riding to the rescue.