Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been suspended for the entire 2015 NFL season after failing a mandated drug dest and violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. Gordon tested positive for alcohol while under probation following a DUI in July last year. The news comes just a day after it was revealed that rookie Browns backup quarterback Johnny Manziel had voluntarily entered a rehab treatment facility in Ohio.
— Pro Football on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) February 3, 2015
As ESPN report, Gordon has been suspended without pay for at least -- an important distinction -- the next NFL year. It's an indefinite suspension in truth, as Gordon will reportedly have to apply for reinstatement next February, prompting speculation about Gordon's future in the NFL.
In a statement from the Browns, General Manager Ray Farmer said "As we have conveyed, we are disappointed to once again be at this point with Josh. Throughout his career we have tried to assist him in getting support like we would with any member of our organization. Unfortunately our efforts have not resonated with him."
Continued Farmer, "It is evident that Josh needs to make some substantial strides to live up to the positive culture we are trying to build this football team upon. Our hope is that this suspension affords Josh the opportunity to gain some clarity in determining what he wants to accomplish moving forward and if he wants a career in the National Football League. We will have no further comment on Josh as he will not be permitted in our facility for the duration of his suspension."
— NFL (@nfl) February 3, 2015
Wesserling adds that due to his three separate suspensions last year, Gordon didn't top the 'games played' threshold to enact his free agency, and the Browns will control his playing rights through 2017 if he does return to the NFL.
— Flash Gordon (@JOSH_GORDONXII) January 29, 2015
Gordon said in an open letter last week that he feels immense remorse and regret for his actions and the hurt he has caused his teammates, coaches, fans, family and friends. He took all the blame upon himself and penned an expansive breakdown of his background and the incidents that led up to his suspensions.
Gordon also asked talking heads like TNT"s Charles Barkley and ESPN's Stephen A Smith and Cris Carter to mind their own business, saying "I am relieved that you no longer need to harbor sympathy for me - mostly because I never asked for it, never wanted it, and certainly never needed it. I am not a victim here; I never claimed to be one, either."
Cris Carter on Josh Gordon: "For me, my concern is his well being because today is a lonely day...there are no winners today."
— Pro Football on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) August 27, 2014
His response to Cris Carter's statement that "We are dealing with addiction here," prompted Gordon to reply, "Know this: We are not dealing with anything, Cris. We are not the same. Not at all."
As Gordon says, "I have not smoked marijuana since before I was drafted by the Browns in 2012 - and there are years' worth of drug tests to prove it."
He finishes off by saying that he is "not a drug addict; I am not an alcoholic," and he doesn't deserve "to be dissected and analyzed like some tragic example of everything that can possibly go wrong for a professional athlete." He concludes that he "is a good person, and I will persevere."
THIS JUST IN: Browns WR Josh Gordon is suspended w/o pay for at least 1 year for violating the NFL Policy & Program for Substances of Abuse.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 3, 2015
But, showing just how much of a good guy he is and how to miss a point completely, Stephen A Smith told ESPN's Mike & Mike that he doesn't case about Josh Gordon, "I do care about the lives you can potentially touch."
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“I don’t care about Josh Gordon, I do care about the lives you can potentially touch.” –Stephen A. Smith responds to Josh Gordon’s letter — Mike & Mike (@MikeAndMike) February 4, 2015