The hard hits keep on coming for Josh Gordon. But the thing is, most of them are self-administered in the clearly blurred world of the Cleveland Browns’ league-leading receiver.
Already faced with the possibility of a year-long NFL suspension for repeated violations of the league’s substance abuse policy, Gordon was nabbed in North Carolina early Saturday morning on DWI charges after being pulled over for driving at least 50 mph in a 35 mph zone and ultimately confessing to having consumed at least three drinks with vodka resulting in a .09 blood-alcohol level.
Hate to be the bearer of bad news Cleveland fans, but all those visions you may have harbored of Gordon snaring passes from Johnny Manziel for years to come simply won’t come to pass— at least not this season. What was rumored as the potential has now eroded to the unfathomable, meaning the appeal Gordon was planning to file to try to have his almost surefire 2014 drug- induced suspension reduced seems as wayward as all those defensive backs who sought to defend him during his 1,646 receiving yards, nine-touchdown season the year before.
And yet, Gordon has managed to box himself in ways no NFL defense has proved even remotely capable. With training camp just three weeks away, the 25-year-old, third-year vet has almost assured his team he won’t be an option to Manziel or any other would-be signal caller any time in the near future.
Just know that timing has never seemed a strong-suit for Gordon, who after arguably setting the new standard for receivers worldwide now finds himself close to be on the outside looking in as it relates to even remaining an active NFL player. The Browns selected Gordon in the supplemental draft of 2012, fully aware that he had experienced drug issues in college at both Baylor and Utah, but even they couldn’t have foreseen where things have now drastically veered. Consider that when Gordon made bail and was released on Saturday, reportedly posting the bond for him was Hayden “Fats” Thomas, the same Durham party promoter and convicted felon that cost P.J. Hairston his eligibility at North Carolina.
“If you’re close to Josh Gordon please help this kid,” former Browns teammate D’Qwell Jackson wrote on Twitter over the weekend. “It’s not about football anymore it’s about picking up the pieces of his life.”
But no one can do for Josh Gordon what he doesn’t appear committed to do for himself.
Gordon was allowed to participate in the team’s recent offseason training program, presumably to try to keep him channeled and fine-tuned. Thing is, Josh Gordon’s plight has become more about survival than it ever was about football.