May 21, 2014; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (12) during organized team activities at Cleveland Browns practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Gordon Suspension: What should the Browns do?

By now everyone has an opinion on Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon. The third year receiver was recently charged with DWI over the 4th of July holiday weekend while waiting a hearing for his appeal of his potential 1-year suspension due to a 2nd failed drug test. Everyone from Cris Carter to Tyrann Mathieu is throwing their two cents in on what exactly should or will happen to Gordon. But, at this point, what should the Cleveland Browns do with Josh Gordon?

Here’s a brief synopsis of Josh Gordon’s past:

  • 2010 = Sophomore year at Baylor suspended for incident involving marijuana
  • 2011 = suspended indefinitely at Baylor for failing drug test (marijuana) sat out remainder of season
  • 2012 = taken by the Cleveland Browns in the second round of the Supplementary Draft
  • 2013 = suspended for the first 2 games of the season due to violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy
  • 2014 = 2nd failed drug test to most likely result in a season-long suspension. Gordon filed an appeal. While waiting for appeal he was arrested for DWI in North Carolina.

The most recent arrest sparked tons of debate and speculation as to what was going to or what should happen next with Josh Gordon. Fans called him out for his foolish actions of driving while impaired and several NFL players and former players rushed in to defend Gordon and make a plea for him to “get help”. Talks that the Browns should release or cut Gordon have been met debate as to whether the team should cut him loose or help him get over his “addiction”.

Here are 2 things I find amusing about the situation:

  1. Because of some drug tests positive for marijuana and a DWI arrest, we’re just assuming Josh Gordon has an addition to narcotics
  2. If Josh Gordon hadn’t led the league in receiving yards last year no one would give a crap what he is or isn’t addicted to

What the Cleveland Browns should do with Josh Gordon at this point is nothing. The appeal process is going to play out most likely not in Gordon’s favor and the NFL is likely to make it look like they’re lumping his DWI punishment into his suspension for his last failed drug test. The NFL hasn’t actually suspended any player aside from the mandatory suspensions tied into the substance abuse and PED policies since mid-season last year. And those suspensions were part of the league’s safety program or helmet-to-helmet hit policies.

May 21, 2014; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (12) during organized team activities at Cleveland Browns practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns, on the other hand, don’t actually have to do anything with Gordon. He’s going to be suspended without question; it’s just a matter of for how long at this point. It’s very unlikely he gets the year suspension reduced because of his latest arrest. From a public image perspective the Browns can do very little and still look like they’re “helping” Gordon. If they don’t release him and he, for his own “public image” perception voluntarily enters some kind of treatment facility or program even if he’s not actually addicted to any narcotics and is only really just guilty of bad judgment, he ends up a winner because everyone loves a comeback story.

At this point, without being close to Gordon himself and knowing his situation other than what’s been made public, it’s kind of foolish to assume that he has a substance abuse problem. His major problems include not being able to be responsible enough to adhere to the drug policy the NFL has in place regarding marijuana use as well as the idiotic move to get behind the wheel after having some drinks. Gordon does need help. Maybe Josh Gordon is not addicted to narcotics like Cris Carter and Michael Irving were once but perhaps a treatment facility would be the best place for Gordon to learn that other substances, even if they aren’t heavy narcotics, shouldn’t be placed at a higher importance than your career and future.

The fact that so many people give a crap what’s going on with him should let him know that this is serious. No one is making a plea on a national level for players like LaVon Brazill or Daryl Washington to be helped. No one made a national appeal for the Browns organization to provide any help to Davone Bess, who admitted himself into a medical treatment facility after being arrested and then cut by the Browns last year.

What the Browns can do at this point is just wait and see what the NFL does. In reality, the best thing for Josh Gordon is to face some kind of consequences for his actions, to truly see that his talent isn’t going to excuse everything forever. He’s in danger of becoming nothing more than a cliché. If he’d rather be known as a talented NFL wide receiver, he should focus his attentions accordingly. As long as people around him are making exceptions and concessions because of his talent and not allowing him to face consequences because of his actions, he will definitely turn into the cliché.

Tags: Cleveland Browns Josh Gordon NFL Tyrann Mathieu

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