Josh Gordon was indefinitely suspended in December for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances and substances of abuse, but he reportedly doesn’t want that to be the end of his NFL career.
According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the 28-year-old wide receiver wants to work toward reinstatement and play in 2020.
December’s suspension was Gordon’s fifth since entering the NFL with the Cleveland Browns in 2012, all for violating the NFL’s policy on substance abuse (with several being for positive marijuana tests). In fact, the 2012 season is the only one Gordon’s played that hasn’t been marred by a suspension. He served suspensions in 2013 and 2014, and then sat out the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons due to suspensions.
Gordon played a few games for the Browns in 2017 after returning from a suspension, and was then traded to the New England Patriots in September 2018. He managed to stay on the field until December, when he was issued an indefinite suspension for violating the terms of his earlier conditional reinstatement. He was able to return for the 2019 season, but was waived by the Patriots after hitting injured reserve and got picked up by the Seattle Seahawks in November. Six weeks later he was hit with another indefinite suspension.
Despite the new rules on marijuana use that were in the recently passed collective bargaining agreement, Gordon’s suspension and reinstatement will still be conducted under the old rules, since they were in effect when the violation happened. He will need to show commissioner Roger Goodell that he’s making significant progress off the field.
If he’s reinstated, Gordon will be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career. Gordon can be effective, and has occasionally shown flashes of the player everyone thought he would or could be in his 2012 rookie season, but his difficulty with staying on the field has made him a risky acquisition. If he finds a new home in the NFL this season, he’ll have a lot to prove.
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