Troubling Times for Josh Gordon

The Cleveland Browns are trying to rebuild their franchise for the umpteenth time since it’s resurrection in 1999. This offseason, the Browns went out and acquired  running back Ben Tate, line backer Karlos Dansby, and safety Donte Whitner. In the draft, they selected Johnny Manziel to try and be the franchise quarterback they have been looking for over the past 15 seasons. Manziel will be the backup to starter Brian Hoyer, who was having a pretty solid year last season before tearing his ACL. Whether it’s Manziel or Hoyer, wide receiver Josh Gordon will not be a target for them. 

Gordon, who was selected by the Browns in the supplemental draft in 2012, will likely be out for all of 2014 and possibly longer for substance abuse issues. He was suspended the first two games of 2013 after a failed drug test, he overcame that and led the NFL in receiving yards. In May of 2014, Gordon was facing a year-long suspension after another failed drug test. He planned on appealing that suspension, but now that isn’t looking so good for him. On July 5, Gordon was arrested in Raleigh, North Carolina for DWI. This will surely put the final nail in the coffin of this season and potentially his NFL playing career. 

The Browns thought they had found a cornerstone offensive player for years to come, but now are uncertain on what to do with him. Some feel the Browns should keep him and try and help him. Others, including Hall of Fame wide receiver Chris Carter, feel the Browns should cut Gordon. Carter, who battled his own issues early in his career, said that he hit rock bottom when he was cut early in his career and thinks doing the same with Gordon could help him realize that he needs help. Whether the Browns choose to cut him or not is not the issue here. The issue is getting this young man some help. 

Former Browns’ captain and teammate of Gordon’s, D’Qwell Jackson is concerned for Gordon’s well being. He said he used to try and mentor Gordon on what to do off the field, but that message didn’t seem to resonate with the troubled wideout. Jackson tweeted out after hearing of Gordon’s latest arrest “If you’re close to Josh Gordon please help this kid, it’s not about football anymore it’s about picking up the pieces of his life.” Jackson is right. This isn’t about football anymore, it’s about getting Gordon the help he needs to beat his issues with substance abuse. Those close to Gordon say he’s been dealing with substance abuse issues since high school. 

If Gordon somehow plays in the NFL again, his team whether it be the Browns or another team, have to build a structure for him to be apart of and get him away from his substance abuse issues. No matter what team that decides to give him a second chance, granted he gets one, must be able to help him on and more importantly off the football field. Drug abuse is no joke and causes many problems on a daily basis. This kid has a ton of talent and potential, but if he can’t get his substance abuse issues taken care of, nobody will see those talents. Here is a guy who can be a huge superstar in the National Football League, but he needs to realize that he can’t continue living his current style of life if he wants to be that superstar. He needs the help to deal with his demons or it might be much more the just football that is lost. 

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I am a 2013 graduate of Clarion University with a bachelor's degree in communications and a concentration in journalism. I aspire to be great. I love sports and professional wrestling. Follow me on Twitter @KIngEdward15 and engage in sports talk with me.

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