The Cleveland Browns have not addressed what they will do if Josh Gordon is reinstated by the league in August. They may not have to. The team’s actions speak loud, and they do not seem to bode well for Gordon’s return.The Browns took an armada of receivers in the draft. The four drafted receivers match the most in a draft in team history (the Browns took four in 1966, per drafthistory.com). Though another talented player is always welcome, drafting four players at one position sure seems to indicate the team is moving on.
The Browns’ draft took place after Josh Gordon’s failed drug test and after he was linked to partying in L.A. with Johnny Manziel. So for the team it probably doesn’t matter whether they’re not optimistic that Gordon can be reinstated, or whether they’ve just had enough of him. If you put yourself in their shoes it’s not hard to see how they could end up there. They could look at the situation and figure that even if Gordon is reinstated he might be quickly suspended/banned again.
But I don’t think the Browns moving on from Gordon places his odds of reinstatement at zero. I mean those odds have to be pretty fucking close to zero, but they’re not zero. The team could wait to see if Gordon can be reinstated and then trade him for some low level compensation. Or, now that they have a lot of insurance at receiver they could throw him out there with Corey Coleman for however long he is active, before being suspended again.
I own Gordon in a dynasty league and while he’s still worth a roster spot, I’m not super optimistic. The weird thing is that Gordon apparently was pretty serious about getting back in shape for this season, and if you follow the Browns’ earlier comments in the offseason it looks like they were too. But Gordon has some kind of problem1 that has made watching this saga equal parts sad and frustrating.
For further reading on the Browns’ receivers, check out Anthony Amico’s article where he calls Coleman the best receiver in the draft, as well as Jon Moore’s piece that calls Ricardo Louis the most overlooked player in the draft, and Jordan Hoover’s piece that says Rashard Higgins has overlooked upside. Justin Winn also covered explosive TE Seth DeValve here.
- This has to be undeniable even if he is reinstated. (back)