Why would the Browns give up on Josh Gordon now?

With Josh Gordon, it’s always complicated. Every season, his status as a player in the NFL is even up for debate, which makes his status as member of the Cleveland Browns secondary. For at least one more year we’re here talking about Gordon, and for whatever reason I haven’t closed the door on it just yet.

To have expectations of Josh Gordon or to otherwise plan for him to be a part of your solution is undoubtedly reckless. If anyone in Berea is allowing the potential return of Gordon to impact their draft board or free agent targets then we might as well ask Jimmy Haslam to do what he does so well and clean house again. That said, leaving the door cracked a little with Josh Gordon doesn’t hurt.

Why? Well, first of all, he can still play if you believe the highlights from his pre-season with the Browns.

This is a guy who spent a year away from the game and immediately stepped in and made a difference for an offense that had moments of looking outright scary.

Secondly, he plays wide receiver. There’s a different level of responsibility for a person who plays quarterback. The Browns couldn’t possibly outlast the vicissitudes of Johnny Manziel without doing extreme harm to their team. With wide receivers, it’s just different.

Many of us heard unsubstantiated rumors of Brian Hoyer and Josh Gordon having issues after Gordon was re-instated in 2014. While unable to confirm what, if anything, actually happened between the two, it’s pretty apparent it wasn’t working as Gordon’s targets went from 16, to 13, to seven, four, and seven. Gordon was suspended for the final contest of the season — which featured a heroic performance by Connor Shaw — because Gordon “violated team rules.” He and Manziel were rumored to have skipped a Saturday practice, you might remember.

Given all that baggage, it’s very tempting to just wash your hands of Gordon forever just like the team did Manziel. It’s the double standard of the NFL, leaving the door open a crack for a receiver. A receiver is more of a mercenary position. Either they can run routes and beat corners or they can’t. Either they know how to get open when the play breaks down or they can’t. They can drag a team down if they keep a quarterback from leading the huddle, but it’s a much lower hurdle to jump than at some other positions.

So even if Gordon continues to be someone the Browns can’t count on, as long as they aren’t planning their lives around him, everything he brings can just be a bonus. If he can get himself on the field he just makes all the other questionable people that much better. Tell me you weren’t a little bit excited when he was catching 40-yard passes from Robert Griffin III in the pre-season less than a year ago. I know I was.

In some ways it might feel cleaner to just stop thinking about Josh Gordon all together, but there’s no reason to do anything but try and take advantage of his undeniable skills if he’s ever able to display them on an NFL field ever again. So don’t look to me for a Gordon pep talk, but also don’t think I’ve completely shut those dreams down. Why would I? Where’s the downside risk?

I don’t think there is any.

  • RGB

    Let’s go live to Berea as Mary Kay prepares to interview Gordon on his return to the Browns…

  • chrisdottcomm

    Colin Kaepernick…. is he worth the distraction?
    Josh Gordon…. what do you have to lose?

    Browns fans are HIGH-larious.

  • tigersbrowns2

    damn !! … Mary Kay looks pretty good in those jeans !

  • tigersbrowns2

    so , 5th time’s a charm ??

  • mgbode

    Craig noted his reasoning above. He views WRs as mercenaries whereas QBs need to be leaders.

    Personally, I would trade Gordon away once he was reinstated.

  • tigersbrowns2

    send Osweiler , Gordon , a case of Heineken & a 2nd round pick to NE for Grop …

  • Harv

    … then files her story: “Josh Gordon appears sincere, and is clearly in the best shape of his career. The coaches say he’s much more engaged in meetings and do not believe he will take long to learn this offense.”

  • chrisdottcomm

    “once he was reinstated.”

    Don’t worry, I’m SURE that day is right around the corner.

  • Harv

    No fathomable reason why? None?

    Josh be rolling, Craig be trolling.

  • Hopwin

    Honestly I feel like that trade might have a snowball’s chance if you swapped out Sam Adams for Heineken (New England afterall)

  • chrisdottcomm

    Also, Craig draws the comparison from Gordon to Manziel, makes sense.

    I’m drawing the “is the distraction worth it” comparison from Gordon to Kaepernick.

  • JNeids

    Name the paraphrased movie:

    Sashi: You’re a frickin’ stoner, Gordon. You don’t deserve to wear that uniform.
    Gordon: You know, you’re right, Sash. I’m a disgrace to the Browns. I think you should trade me.
    Sashi: As soon as we find someone dumb enough to take you, that’s EXACTLY what we’re gonna do.
    Hue: No we’re not. We’re not trading you.
    Gordon: So what are you going to do, bench me?
    Hue: Nope, play you. When it’s your turn to catch, you catch. Nothing changes.
    Gordon: You know, I don’t think that’s such a good idea. I have a feeling my concentration’s not going to be that good out there. I might tend to forget some of those routes.
    Hue: Well, that’s up to you, you’re the free agent. Hey Sash, what’s the going rate for an absent-minded wide receiver who can’t run routes or catch?

  • Hopwin

    Bit of an assumption that Gordon could ever run routes and still has all the tools he did… was it 5 years ago now that he led the league?

  • JNeids

    It just fit in the context of my paraphrasing.

  • chrisdottcomm

    The horse’s name is Friday.

    That movie is one of the best “sports” movies ever made and often forgotten.

  • mgbode

    Billy Heywood would be proud

    (Little Big League)

  • JNeids

    Kids today are amazing. I played winter ball down in Venezuela, they had kids half his age, every one of them speaking Spanish. That’s a hard language.

  • mgbode

    Spanish is the native language down there.

  • JNeids

    But would Thomas?

  • chrisdottcomm

    “They speak Spanish in Venezuela”

    “I know!”

  • mgbode

    That’s my point!

  • chrisdottcomm

    Damn, that’s the line.

    excellent work.

  • chrisdottcomm

    Unfortunately Billy is still asleep…. another victim of Night Nurses from New Jersey.

  • JNeids

    To both you and bode:

  • mgbode

    Best part of the whole movie though was the bunting discussion.

    1994 and here was the screenwriter detailing out how dumb it was to sacrifice your best hitters in “obvious” bunt situations.

  • mgbode


    Gordon is the only one of those three that you can confidently say has a skillset that should be elite in 2017 NFL games (as long as being in shape means he can still run routes & catch — at least better overall chance than the other two who would be backups if they get signed if not 3rd string).

    I agree though that Kaep’s distraction level is far less. It will be a media circus during OTA’s, initially in Training Camp, then if he gets to start. It should die down and is not overtly negative unlike the other two.

  • mgbode

    Give ’em some real beer and ship ’em Great Lakes.

  • I also compared Gordon to Manziel because they got suspended together for that last game against Baltimore. Or was Johnny just removed from the sidelines? I can’t remember. He was in the doghouse, not the Dawg House.

  • Saggy

    “The Brown(s) current ran swiftly out of the heart of darkness, bearing us down towards the sea with twice the speed of our upward progress; and Gordon’s life was running swiftly, too. . … .He had something to say. He said it. . . . He had summed up—he had judged. ‘THE TALENT!’ He was a remarkable man.”

  • Saggy

    It’s not the same as Manziel. He isn’t out there beating women or drunk driving. I guess I’m both a fan and a softie for redemption. I say see what the kid can do.

  • tigersbrowns2

    Seahawks are rumored to be interested in Gordon … hold him hostage , like the Cowboys are doing with Romo … heck , if you can get a 7th round pick for him , i’d take it.

  • clofregiph


  • NankirPhelge

    I’d take him back and see what I could get for him in a trade. But I would not keep him. For as good as he was in that breakout year, when he came back after his first suspension he looked disinterested. He wasn’t busting it to go after balls, and the Browns bevy of QBs were trying to get it to him.

    Maybe we can trade him to Washington for Pryor, hee hee hee.

  • JM85

    Didn’t the Browns already say they’re moving on?

  • RGB

    Sashi be trading.

  • Hopwin
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  • akzipper

    The Browns have enough draft picks. What’s the worst that can happen? Just see what he can do. Don’t put us all through this for years just to see him become a Pro Bowler for the Seahawks or Patriots. The Browns WR’s are terrible and unless they are willing to spend another first rounder on someone, we really don’t have a #1 option.

  • davewr58

    You’re kidding, right? Where’s the downside risk … are you nuts? This guy is Manziel 2.0! He’s let the Browns down time after time after time after time. He’s an addict who is in denial. He’s a potential locker room cancer. Where’s the risk … really.

  • William

    Who does Josh respect? Hire him full time to watch over him, or send him down to Medellin, Colombia and we will tie him to a tree and pray for him. We are seeing soccer players really turn around down here.
    But dont touch Colin. – Andrew

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  • VMI1998

    Gordon checked himself into rehab, something Manziel never did (he went because others told him to.) Last I heard, he hasn’t been a problem in the locker room. I’m not saying count on the guy, but it’s foolish to assume that he’s never going to recover.