INDIANAPOLIS (92.3 The Fan) – Josh Gordon wants to play football again.
The question is, will the NFL allow him to?
Gordon will apply for reinstatement on Wednesday ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. Gordon’s business manager Michael Johnson told Schefter that Gordon has been living with him and “is in the best place mentally that he has been in dating back years before entering the NFL.”
A league spokesman declined to comment on Gordon’s possible application for reinstatement.
Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown didn’t have much to say about Gordon’s situation when he met with reporters Wednesday afternoon.
“I saw the report,” Brown said. “Frankly, I just don’t know enough right now about what that process would look like. I do understand that he’s able to reapply at some point here in March. As I understand more, I might be able to shed more light. Right now, it would just be premature for me to say.”
Gordon, who has been suspended for 43 of the last 48 games that could’ve played in, has been very active on social media in recent weeks posting pictures and videos of his workouts.
Gordon’s possible return in 2016 was derailed when he entered rehab last September following another questionable test for substance abuse. Gordon had participated in training camp and worked out during a 4-game ban at the team facility.
The new Browns regime got a glimpse of Gordon’s breathtaking talent in the third preseason game at Tampa Bay that saw him torch Buccaneers corner Brent Grimes on a 44-yard catch and run from Robert Griffin III on the opening drive of the night and then he out-wrestled Grimes for a 43-yard touchdown.
The Browns seemed inclined to move on from Gordon last fall and Brown didn’t want to discuss whether or not they’ve altered there stance, simply because they haven’t thought about it.
“On occasion I would check in with Josh and we would…just personally because we care for the young man,” Brown said. “But beyond that we really haven’t sat down to talk about what it would be like
if he gets back in. Or even taking the time to understand exactly what that would look like and I think that’s a pretty complicated process at this point given, kind of, his history.”
Gordon has been suspended in each of his last 4 seasons for violations of the substance abuse policy. He led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards in 2013 and was elected to the Pro Bowl despite playing in 14 games.
During the suspensions, which have lasted 2 full seasons, Gordon’s contract tolled, meaning that he remains under the Browns control – assuming he is reinstated this year – and could not become a restricted free agent until 2019.