Browns send WR Josh Gordon to Patriots

Hue Jackson says the team did "all we can do for Josh"

Daryl Ruiter
September 17, 2018 - 4:31 pm
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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Browns officially closed the book on Josh Gordon Monday afternoon by dealing the troubled receiver to the New England Patriots.

And with it a massive weight has been lifted off the shoulders of a franchise that did everything and anything to help him through a multitude of suspensions, off the field trouble and addiction.  

"We've moved on," head coach Hue Jackson said on a conference call.

Cleveland received a fifth-round pick in return. If Gordon is not active for 10 games the Browns will send New England a seventh-round pick according to ESPN.

"John [Dorsey] got the best deal that he could get," Jackson said.

Ironically, to make room for Gordon, former Browns receiver Corey Coleman – a 2016 No. 15 overall pick – that was dealt to and subsequently cut by Buffalo was waived by New England.

Gordon will be an interesting fit with the Patriots. Accountability and doing your job are 2 core principles of head coach Bill Belichick – neither of which Gordon demonstrated with the Browns.

Jackson isn't worried that Gordon might go on to resurrect his career with the Patriots. 

"We can’t worry about that," Jackson said. "We have to do what we think is best for our organization."

The swap comes just over 48 hours after general manager John Dorsey announced the team planned to release Gordon after Gordon showed up late to the team facility on Saturday and reported a hamstring injury, which reportedly occurred late Friday night during a photo shoot.

Gordon was ruled out for Sunday’s 21-18 loss and left behind as the team took off for New Orleans before Dorsey’s announcement came later in the day.

Monday morning Gordon posted a video on his Instagram story while getting a massage and watching TV of him laughing when the sports anchor mentioned that multiple sources indicated his departure from the Browns was a result of him losing the trust of the team.

"We’ve done all we can do for Josh," Jackson said. "I just thank Dee and Jimmy Haslam for doing everything that they could, tried to create the right environments. Just didn’t work out. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery. And hopefully things work out for Josh. We support him that way and wish nothing but the best for him."

Since the Browns selected Gordon with a second-round pick in the 2012 supplemental draft, Gordon has been his own worst enemy.

He played a full 16 game schedule just once – his rookie year.

Time after time over the last 6 years Gordon pledged to turn his life around and be accountable to himself, his teammates and the organization to no avail.

Entering this season, the Browns had hoped Gordon had turned it around even after taking a leave of absence, which he announced on July 23, when he reported on Aug. 18 for training camp. The NFL and independent medical advisor cleared Gordon a week later for practice and games, but a hamstring injury slowed his return to the practice field until the week leading up to the season opener.

Last week head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley indicated that Gordon, who was targeted 3 times in the Week 1 tie with the Steelers, needed to do a better job of running routes and being where he was supposed to be on the field to help quarterback Tyrod Taylor trust in him and the rest of the receivers.

This is the same issue that arose during the 2014 season after Gordon returned from a 10-game ban, a result of more substance abuse problems including a DUI in North Carolina over the fourth of July weekend, and the team was on first place at 6-3. It was expected that Gordon would be able to push them over the top down the stretch. Instead, former quarterback Brian Hoyer got benched after throwing multiple interceptions on balls intended for Gordon and the season went down the drain.

Gordon was suspended by then head coach Mike Pettine for the 2014 season finale for not showing up in time for their trip to Baltimore.

In 2013 Gordon was suspended for the first 2 games, which he blamed on cough syrup, yet went on to lead the league with 1,646 yards, including 9 touchdowns, and making his only Pro Bowl.

He followed up the 2014 troubles with an indefinite suspension in 2015 after a photo of Gordon appearing to hold an alcoholic beverage on a private flight to Las Vegas was posted to social media in January 2015. Gordon was tested and failed leading to an indefinite suspension that cost him the entire 2015 season.

Gordon appeared to be set to return to the Browns in 2016 after participating in training camp and playing in the third preseason game that saw him catch a long touchdown in Tampa Bay. He originally was to serve another 4-game suspension at the outset of the season, but on the day he was scheduled to be reinstated for Week 5, he announced that he was headed to rehab.

In November 2017, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell conditionally reinstated Gordon and made him eligible for the final 5 games of the season after he spent 4 weeks conditioning and meeting the requirements for reinstatement.

Prior to his reinstatement, Gordon confessed in a video profile produced by LeBron James’ ‘Uninterrupted’ platform and in an interview with GQ magazine his extensive drug use and problems with addiction that dated back to his high school days.

"I hate to term it a relief. I’m glad that there’s closure," Jackson said. "Let’s just say it that way. I’m glad that we are now in a space where we’re not thinking of those things, what could be, what could not be. And that we’re coaching the guys that are here and trying to get these guys to play at a high level and win football games."

In total Gordon served 56 games in suspensions while playing in just 41 games for the Browns. He amassed 180 catches, 3,106 yards and 16 touchdowns.