Josh Gordon is in the news. The oft-suspended receiver is back working with the Browns first team, earning raves from teammates and coaches alike for looking a lot like the dude who led the NFL in receiving yards in 2013, a year where he earned first-team All-Pro Honors — even after missing the first two games of the season due to violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
“He still looks the exact same and it’s just crazy,” Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden told Cleveland.com. “He looks a little bigger. I don’t know how that happened, but he’s still out there running around, looking the same, running his routes, floating. It still looks effortless.”
And on cue, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that league sources tell him that multiple teams have reached out to the Browns inquiring about the receiver’s availability. And while Gordon and the Browns are all saying the right things — they want to stay together — NOW word comes that maybe, just maybe, it was the Browns who planted the story with Shefty to begin with.
Of course they did.
Because they’ve been living on a tight rope with this guy since he came into the league via the supplementary draft. Through thick and thin, through a lost 2015 season, through a nearly lost 2014 season that saw him play only five games.
This is a guy who smoked his way out of BAYLOR, and as we’ve come to find out, getting kicked out of Art Briles program ain’t the easiest thing in the world to do.
Can you blame the Browns for wanting to cut and run if they can get ANYTHING of value for a guy who is one puff away from another season going up in smoke?
There’s never been any question that Gordon’s one of the game’s best receivers when he’s not puffing the chron. Unfortunately, you’ve got to believe that this time — yes, this time! — he’ll keep it together and make it through a season sober. Fifth time is the charm!
Can he do it? Can a guy who was spotted at Coachella this April with Johnny Manziel REALLY make you believe that he’ll keep the sober wagon on the tracks this season? Is he really worth the risk? Or if someone steps the Browns with a legitimate offer, are they better off letting some else roll the dice on him?
But here’s the thing. I’m not trading him. No way. And not because I believe that he’ll stay sober — I’ve got no clue — but because he’s a 25-year old freak receiver who has the chance to be the game’s best if he just keeps the hippy lettuce out of his hands.
The Browns have invested SO MUCH into this guy. They’ve got an offensive-minded head coach who will know how to use Gordon. But more important than all of that, if you’re the Browns, you just cannot afford to trade this guy somewhere else and watch him turn into Randy Moss.
For what? A third-rounder? You just got done burying your head at every league meeting — between the Manziel pick, your owner getting hauled in by the FBI. You want to give away a guy who can be the best in the game? That you’ve waited this long for? Who looks this good now?
Gordon’s making 800 grand this year. That’s essentially league minimum for a guy capable of giving you all-world production. There’s no way a team is backing up the brinks truck to give this guy a chance of nuking their organization, so you might as well just play it out. You’ve made it through the last four issues — at this point, what’s one more?