Tyrann Mathieu nearly lost his chance to play in the NFL after substance abuse resulted in his dismissal from LSU one season after being a Heisman finalist, so he can empathize with the current plight of Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon who is facing similar demons and an uncertain future in the NFL.
Mathieu was on NFL Network’s Total Access on Tuesday night and is hopeful Gordon will “get the message” and can right himself and come back, but he understands he has to help himself before accepting any help from the outside.
“Hopefully he will get the message, but most of the time it takes for people to hit rock bottom for them to start believing in their self and start seeking help. A lot of people can reach out to you, but that doesn’t mean you always take that help and take that advice. He just has to want it for himself.”
Gordon, 22, led the NFL in receiving last season despite missing the first two games for a suspension after violating the league’s substance abuse policy, something that plagued him in college at Baylor where failed marijuana tests resulted in his dismissal and was forced to enter the NFL’s supplemental draft.
Another failed drug test that was made public during the NFL Draft in May, Gordon is facing a yearlong suspension and he may be out even longer after an arrest for driving while intoxicated last weekend.
Gordon’s NFL career and life is hanging in the balance as Gordon struggles with sobriety and Mathieu thinks the message is a simple one.
“You have to weigh your pros and your cons. What do you want to be in life and who do you not want to be in life?” Mathieu said. “You have to add all of those things up. I’m pretty sure who you want to be in life will weigh a lot more than who you don’t want to be in life. Hopefully he can get that.”
Mathieu knew who he wanted to be in life is a great comeback story and was one of the top rookies in the NFL last season before sustaining an ACL tear that may cost him the first month of the season for the Arizona Cardinals, but will Gordon get the message and pick himself up after hitting rock bottom?