CLEVELAND – Josh Gordon’s troubled tenure with the Cleveland Browns has ended.
The team isn’t going to help him any longer. He’s let them down for the final time.
The Browns announced Saturday night their intention to release the former Pro Bowl wide receiver, whose immense talent has been overshadowed by substance abuse that has derailed a promising career.
The stunning news came just hours after the Browns said Gordon would miss Sunday’s game in New Orleans with a mysterious hamstring injury. Gordon has been suspended by the NFL for most of the past four seasons because of multiple drug violations, and the Browns have been supportive of the 27-year-old for years as he tried to get his life together.
“This afternoon we informed Josh Gordon and his representatives that we are going to release him on Monday,” general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. “For the past six years, the Browns have fully supported and invested in Josh, both personally and professionally and wanted the best for him, but unfortunately we’ve reached a point where we feel it’s best to part ways and move forward. We wish Josh well.”
The team provided no specifics about what prompted their decision to part ways with Gordon. He reported to the team’s headquarters earlier in the day, and spokesman said Gordon was evaluated by doctors and the decision was made to keep him home because of the hamstring.
It’s unclear what his imminent release means for Gordon’s playing future. Gordon was in the league’s substance-abuse program and if he failed another drug test, he could be facing more discipline.
It’s possible the Browns will try to trade Gordon before Monday so they can recoup something for a player who has wasted his massive potential. If Cleveland releases Gordon, he’ll be a free agent and can sign anywhere.
Losing Gordon is a major blow to Cleveland’s offense. The Browns have receivers Jarvis Landry, rookie Antonio Callaway and Rashard Higgins, but none of them poses the same deep-field threat as the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Gordon, who has breakaway speed.
The Browns have had negotiations with former Dallas star Dez Bryant, but the sides have not been able to work out a deal.
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