Tuesday night, Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer scored a scoop with the latest information on Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon. I encourage you to read the entire article, but I will also provide a bullet point summary below of what we learned.
All of Cabot’s report comes via an interview she had with Tim Montgomery, a former Olympic Gold medalist and world-record holder who has been working with Gordon for awhile now. Before I get to Cabot’s report, let’s take a look back at a timeline of events over the past year.
Timeline of Events on Josh Gordon
- July 25, 2016: Gordon is conditionally re-instated. He can participate in 2016 training camp, but would be suspended for the first four games.
- August 26, 2016: Gordon participated in the preseason, but were reportedly seeking a second-round pick and more if a team was interested in acquiring him.
- September 21, 2016: The regular season started several weeks earlier, so Gordon was serving his suspension. He was hit with a paternity suit.
- September 29, 2016: Just a few days before he was set to be re-instated, the stunning news broke that Gordon was stepping away from football to enter in-patient rehab. The word from ESPN is that Cleveland intended to part ways with him in light of the news.
- October 2, 2016: It was reported that Gordon entered rehab because of an alcohol problem.
- October 30, 2016: Gordon’s 30-day stint in rehab concluded. The Browns did not trade him before the deadline, and he was not re-instated by the NFL.
- March 1, 2017: Gordon applied for re-instatement to the NFL again.
- March 24, 2017: More details came out about Gordon’s attempt to come back, including the fact that he started working out with Tim Montgomery. A few days later, a photo of him appeared in which he looked to be in extraordinary shape.
- March 29, 2017: Browns’ Executive VP of Football Operations Sashi Brown hinted that they might keep Gordon if he is re-instated.
- May 10, 2017: Gordon is without an agent.
- May 11, 2017: The NFL denies Gordon’s request for re-instatement.
- August 17, 2017: While visiting Berea, Commissioner Roger Goodell would provide no real update on Gordon’s situation.
- August 25, 2017: Report says that Gordon is targeting late-September for his NFL comeback.
- September 4, 2017: Another rumor from someone who talked to Gordon says he hopes he can be back in time for the Colts game.
What We Learned From Cabot’s Report
I didn’t expect the timeline on Gordon to be a novel when I started putting it together...and that’s just within the past year. I had to establish the timeline, though, to help align those headlines with what appears in Cabot’s article. Here is a summary of what we learned from Cabot via Montgomery:
- Gordon's bid for re-instatement was indeed denied on May 11, 2017. However, the NFL told him he could re-apply again in the fall. Montgomery believes that Gordon was clean when he was denied reinstatement in May 2017; however, Gordon had "missed his mandatory drug tests."
- Why did Gordon miss those drug tests? Basically, Gordon needed to stay in one place, answer his phone, and be ready for mandatory drug tests at any time. However, he didn't want to tell his "people" (presumably his friends) that he couldn't go out with them because he had to stay home and answer the phone for possible drug tests. It’s a lifestyle that Gordon lives, and obviously, something he couldn’t mentally break despite knowing the consequences. Montgomery said he nearly made it without missing the tests, but started falling into this habit around March 2017.
- On June 21, 2017, Gordon entered a 90-day rehab stint, with the hope that it would help convince the NFL to let him back in the NFL. His stint in rehab ends on September 21, 2017, which is four days before the Browns play their Week 3 game against the Indianapolis Colts.
- Montgomery believes the NFL will re-instate him, and he "hopes" it's soon after September 21. To be reasonable, though, I wouldn’t get hopes up for something like that until it happens, as this “hope” comes from Gordon’s side, not the Browns or NFL’s side.
- There’s no telling whether the Browns would even want Gordon. Montgomery said Gordon is at about 231 pounds right now, and although he's working out, he was out of shape two weeks ago when he was released on a one-day pass. However, Montgomery said, "even though he hadn't caught a football in two months, that football didn't hit the ground."
- Gordon was bitter about the Browns' comments of "slamming the door on a comeback" last fall. However, he's better now. Gordon wanted to attend the Browns' third preseason game down in Tampa Bay, but was unable to get out of rehab to attend.
There are a lot of “ifs” and excuses in there, but it’s the latest update we have.