In a bit of somewhat surprising news, the NFL announced Monday that Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been reinstated on a conditional basis and will be allowed to join Cleveland when the team opens training camp Thursday. Gordon will be forced to serve a four-game suspension to start the regular season and will have a zero tolerance policy from there, but at the same time, the most important news is this: Gordon could be back on an NFL sideline as soon as Oct. 9, when the Browns host the Patriots.
Since the news broke, we’ve heard from a handful of voices on the decision, but one person who has been noticeably quiet has been Gordon himself. However, he broke that silence late Monday by releasing a statement via Twitter.
Obviously, it’s good to see Gordon back in the good graces of the Browns and NFL, but whether he can stay there is another question altogether. This is a guy, after all, who has served suspensions at various points in each of the past four seasons and has missed 27 of Cleveland’s last 32 games overall. Let’s also not forget that for all the talk about Gordon’s marijuana use, he is also someone who has been arrested on a DWI charge in the past two and a half years.
I'm blessed and grateful to be granted this opportunity. I can’t wait to get back out there and play the game I… https://t.co/1xehJ840fH
At the same time, it also seems as though Gordon is committed like never before (he had to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell before he could be reinstated), and the Browns too seem to want to make it work. Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus commended new Cleveland coach Hue Jackson earlier this week for his willingness to work with Gordon, and Browns’ legend Jim Brown has been active in the reinstatement process as well.
Will Gordon be able to stay out of trouble and work through the reinstatement process? Only time will tell.
But for the first time in a long time, it feels like there’s hope that Gordon is on the right track.