On Monday, the NFL announced that it will be reinstating Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon to the league, which was welcome news for Browns fans who haven’t had much to celebrate this offseason after seeing another “quarterback of the future” released from the team. With Gordon back in the lineup, the Browns still aren’t expected to do much, but his presence on the team will improve their NFL betting lines.
While Gordon will be allowed to play this season, he will be suspended for the first four games of the season because of past failed drug tests. Gordon’s reinstatement also means the Browns have an important choice to make, do they want to give the troubled receiver one more chance? Or, do they want to move on from the Gordon era by releasing him.
At 25-years-old, Gordon is still a very young player, and the fact that he missed the entire 2015 season also means he is well rested and should be able to help the Browns for many years to come. However, the big question with Gordon has never been about his talent, it’s about whether he can be trusted to make the right decisions off the field so he will be able to stay on the field and help his team win games.
Another thing the Browns have to worry about is the fact that Gordon has barely played in two seasons. That much time off can affect a player negatively, because he won’t be in football shape at the start of the season, and he might also have lost a step or two while he has been gone.
When the announcement that Gordon had been reinstated was made, the NFL said it would allow Gordon to train with the team, which is rare because suspended players are usually banned from being around the team until the suspension is over.
Allowing Gordon to train with the team will make the Browns’ decision on Gordon easier because the Browns will be able to see Gordon train for six weeks, which will give them enough time to evaluate his progression, which is something they wouldn’t have been able to do if he was banned from training with the team.
If the Browns like what they see on the field during the six weeks Gordon will be training with the team, they can decide to keep him on the roster for the season, and see how he performs on the field. If he is close to where he was before the suspension, they can negotiate a new contract with him. If he is not, they can release him and move on from the Josh Gordon era.
Despite the Browns seemingly trying to start fresh without Gordon and former quarterback Johnny Manziel, who caused a lot of distractions with his off field behavior, the team seems invested in giving Gordon one more chance.
According to reports, former Browns great Jim Brown, is one of the people that promised Commissioner Roger Goodell that he will try to help Gordon, which indicates that the Browns might not be done with him yet because it makes no sense for the franchise to bring in Brown to help a player they don’t intend to keep.