For the few fans of the Browns holding out hopes that Josh Gordon will once again wear his No. 12 for Cleveland’s football team, well—we have some bad news.
All of those motivational quote tweets and workout videos appear to have been all for naught. According to USA TODAY’s Tom Pelissero, Gordon’s application for reinstatement to the NFL was denied this week with his next application window being kicked out to this fall. Adding intrigue to the story is a report from ESPN’s Josina Anderson which states Gordon’s representation severed ties with the one-time leading receiver two weeks ago.
Though just 26 years of age, and not that far removed from a preseason with the Browns that left many salivating, the wide receiver hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since the end of the 2014 season prior to being suspended for conduct detrimental to the team. After looking like he had not skipped a beat heading into last season, Gordon stepped away from the game to enter himself into a rehabilitation facility. The Browns, meanwhile, have done everything in their power to keep themselves at arm’s length with Gordon, carefully balancing not wanting the distraction with knowing full well that they could use his talent in the event the effort was made to rejoin the league.
While head coach Hue Jackson stated the team “needs to close the chapter” on Gordon, Executive Vice President Sashi Brown stated the team is “not in position at wide receiver to turn down a guy like Josh if we feel he’s settled himself.”
In just 10 games in 2013, Gordon produced 87 receptions for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. While a memory, it’s a distant one as the team has changed head coaches and front offices twice since that very season.