Browns sign WR Josh Gordon, 3 other exclusive rights free agents

Gordon set to hit market as restricted free agent in 2019

Daryl Ruiter
April 16, 2018 - 10:16 am
Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (12) warms up before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 28-24

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Browns signed receiver Josh Gordon and 3 other exclusive rights free agents on Monday.

The 27-year old Gordon receives a 1-year deal worth $790,000.

Gordon joined his teammates in reporting for the Browns' offseason workout program which began Monday morning. 

After returning from a lengthy suspension that began in 2015, Gordon caught 18 passes for 335 yards and a touchdown in 5 games in 2017 following his reinstatement by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, but he did not register an accrued season.

Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement, players must play in 6 games to receive an accrued season. Gordon has totaled just 2 accrued seasons to date meaning he can become a restricted free agent in March of 2019 and an unrestricted free agent in 2020. 

In all, Gordon has served 56 games in suspensions, including the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons, since the Browns selected him with a second-round tender in the 2012 supplemental draft.

The suspensions because of addictions to drugs and alcohol have cost Gordon tens of millions of dollars in potential earnings by pushing back his potential free agency.

In 40 games – 37 starts – Gordon has totaled 179 catches, 3,089 yards and 15 touchdowns for the Browns.

Cleveland’s annual bottom-feeding football team hopes they’ll be able to finally revive the franchise by pairing Gordon with new receiver Jarvis Landry, who just received a 5-year, $75 million contract extension in a revamped offense featuring quarterback Tyrod Taylor, acquired this offseason in a trade with Buffalo.

Offensive lineman Austin Reiter, receiver Matt Hazel and fullback Danny Vitale also signed their exclusive rights contracts.