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Browns Trade Josh Gordon to Patriots

Well, did not see this coming. The Cleveland Browns have announced they will release Josh Gordon, the uber-talented, uber-troubled wide receiver.

"This afternoon we informed Josh Gordon and his representatives that we are going to release him on Monday," general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. "For the past six years, the Browns have fully supported and invested in Josh, both personally and professionally and wanted the best for him, but unfortunately we've reached a point where we feel it's best to part ways and move forward. We wish Josh well."

Gordon had one catch for 17 yards in the season-opening tie against Pittsburgh.

Zac Jackson of The Athletic is reporting that Gordon did not arrive at the facility on time this morning.

UPDATE: Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer has more information, saying that in addition to showing up late, Gordon was "not himself," which caused fears of substance abuse.

UPDATE II: On Monday afternoon, the Browns traded Josh Gordon to the Patriots for a fifth-round pick. If Gordon does not play 10 games this year, the Patriots will get a seventh-round pick back from Cleveland.

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32 comments, Last at 23 Sep 2018, 1:31am

1 Re: BREAKING: Browns Releasing Josh Gordon

He missed most of camp to deal with his drug/alcohol abuse issues, and when he returned he was injured with 'a hamstring'.
Hue Jackson told everyone that obviously, Josh would not start the game vs the Steelers. Josh started the game vs the Steelers.
I don't believe he's released for being late. If they could wait 4 years, they could wait another hour.
He was either not injured like he said or he had a relapse and took drugs/alcohol.
In either case, Josh has not yet learned his lesson. He got away with anything in Cleveland, so I'm not very surprised.

2 Re: BREAKING: Browns Releasing Josh Gordon

Hue also said on hard knocks that everyone would get one mistake with him... After Antonio Callaway got in legal trouble then hid it and lied about it. Then they released Kendricks for something that has happened before they signed him that they apparently knew about.

Not to say I know anything about Gordon, but the management team involved is just brutal

29 Re: BREAKING: Browns Releasing Josh Gordon

"has happened before they signed him that they apparently knew about."


There are differing reports about the Browns' level of knowledge re: Kendricks, whom the Seahawks were still willing to take on for a season up through his sentencing thereafter.

If they knew there was an investigation but thought it was going to take a while to investigate and were willing to see how it played out, then there are a lot worse things to "LOLBROWNS" over than that.

Whatever one wants to say about Hue, Gordon had been on several mistakes already with him, to say nothing of how many mistakes he was on with the Haslems.

10 Re: Browns Trade Josh Gordon to Patriots

He's either going to be huge, or cut in four weeks.

The MSM is going to automatically assume he'll fit in like a glove, but the list of receivers, even one's that were not yet in their overall decline phase, that went to NE and did not work out is a long one.

11 Re: Browns Trade Josh Gordon to Patriots

I'm not sure a 27-year old WR is necessarily in decline yet.

I think the only way he'll be off the team is if he's busted for something and suspended yet again. He's too good to be cut for anything other than off the field stuff. It might not work out perfectly, but I think it's hard to imagine him being so bad his performance warrants release.

13 Re: Browns Trade Josh Gordon to Patriots

He just got sent out of Cleveland for what seems to be team rules issues--showing up late to practice and apparently somehow injuring himself in a non-football context and not telling the team. That doesn't sound like stuff that will fly with a particularly rules-oriented org like NE. After all, they benched their slot corner in the Super Bowl over an undisclosed team rule violation even though they obviously could have used the help in the secondary that game.

That said, I still think this is a good pickup for NE. I think teams sometimes overrate the value of draft picks. Even if you think the odds of Gordon keeping his head on straight are something really low like 20%, that's still higher than the odds of that fifth round pick turning into a player as good as Gordon. When the upside is as high as Gordon's is, there's no reason not to spend some loose change giving him a shot.

27 Re: Browns Trade Josh Gordon to Patriots

Butler said the coach lost faith in him. Belichick said he played the people whom he thought gave the Pats the best chance of winning.

Usually when that's the explanation given, the story is pretty simple. Butler lost the starting job because he wasn't playing well.

All the parties involved have stated that the benching was not a disciplinary action. Butler in particular is adamant that he didn't violate team rules.

There is a lot of speculation based on people refusing to take a simple explanation at face value. Why people need to do this is not something I understand.

I don't know why you think Butler was confused. Butler was pretty clear about what happened.

The quote from Butler is 'They gave up on me.'

The strange thing about all the people who are certain that the benching wasn't for football reasons it that they seem to have not watched the prior two playoff games.


30 Re: Browns Trade Josh Gordon to Patriots

I don't want to rehash Super Bowl conversations....but I don't think I weighed in at the time, so here it is.

Every other explanation other than what Belichick said (I played the players I thought gave us the best chance to win), must necessarily start off with the concept that something, somehow, was more important to Bill Belichick than winning the Super Bowl. And that, to me, is unfathomable.

What goes unsaid from almost every "Why didn't Malcolm play" question is that, as Rick says somewhere around here, MALCOLM DIDN'T PLAY THE SLOT. It's like asking why James White didn't play any fullback for a hypothetically ineffective James Develin. They are two different positions. Malcolm lost his starting job to Rowe. Period. He didn't play slot corner all year (in fact the Patriots almost always used three safeties in their nickel package), so it seems daft to think there's some hidden agenda in the decision not to convert him to a slot corner in the midst of the last game of the season.

There's no mystery to me why Malcolm Butler didn't play much in the Super Bowl. It was for the same reason Brian Hoyer didn't play. He was a backup, and would have likely needed an injury or chronic ineffectiveness of the starter to get in significant snaps.

28 Re: Browns Trade Josh Gordon to Patriots

" After all, they benched their slot corner in the Super Bowl over an undisclosed team rule violation even though they obviously could have used the help in the secondary that game."

a) Butler wasn't a slot corner
b) he wasn't benched over a rule violation
c) he had played outside CB all season long. He'd lost that job to Rowe. He'd played poorly vs. Titans and Jags and reportedly had a bad week of practice.

The Pats didn't lose because their outside CBs played poorly. The problems were elsewhere in the defense, mainly in the front seven. Saying they needed Butler when the defense was giving up 8+ yards per run is hard to understand.

25 Re: Browns Trade Josh Gordon to Patriots

From what the patsfans board said, it sounds like Brian Hoyer was the one pushing hardest for this particular move.

That is actually surprising because they did not get along well at all with the Browns; Gordon was dogging it in his lackluster 2014 part-season because he wanted Manziel.

14 Re: Browns Trade Josh Gordon to Patriots

They should ask Randy Moss talk to him. (I'm fairly sure Moss and NE are on good terms.) I think Gordon would actually listen to Moss more than coaches or even other players. Not sure if it could keep Gordon on the straight and narrow. But it couldn't hurt.

23 Re: Browns Trade Josh Gordon to Patriots

I don't know if he actually had a "problem", but he had issues that cost him. Moss failed a drug test and was kicked off the team at Florida State. Moss had a first-time offense in the NFL for a positive test in 2001, but was not suspended.

In August 2005, during an interview with Bryant Gumbel, Moss admitted that he has smoked marijuana during his NFL career "every blue moon." When asked whether he still used marijuana currently, Moss replied "I might. I might have fun. And, you know, hopefully ... I won't get into any trouble by the NFL by saying that, you know. I have had fun throughout my years and, you know, predominantly in the offseason."

16 Re: Browns Trade Josh Gordon to Patriots

The problem, as I see it, is that Gordon has been high for every single game he's played since college. Getting high as part of his pregame ritual is likely deeply intertwined with his conception of what "being a football player" even is.

I've been a drug addict too (clean for four years), and my use was also directly related to my career -- I was in sales, and using opiates at work significantly boosted my performance -- but an essential part of getting better for me is starting a whole new career in an unrelated field. I doubt I will ever be able to do that kind of work again without feeling urges to get high that are so strong it's hard to concentrate on anything else. It's not instant either, I could go a year without any problems (building up false confidence all the while), but the wrong kind of setback on an already bad day, and I'd be done for. For me, just doing the same work is the beginning of a slippery slope. Hell, I can barely drive past the parking lot where I used to meet my dealer without complicated and distracting emotions.

This isn't a willpower issue (at least, not just a willpower issue). An addict can't just decide to overcome addiction any more than someone who's clinically depressed can just decide to be happy. I know nothing about the particulars of Gordan's treatment, but I am very skeptical that being around football at all is a good idea from this standpoint. But everyone is different, and I certainly hope Gordon is getting better 1-on-1 therapy than the average citizen has access to. It's not inconceivable that he could pull it off, but there are so many things working against him in this…

17 Re: Browns Trade Josh Gordon to Patriots

Thank you for sharing this, it's not an easy thing to open up about. I hadn't ever considered that aspect of addiction. It's easy to get caught up in the NFL's culture of treating players like unfeeling football automotons and forget that this is a troubled young man having a very hard time getting his life in order. The culture of excess that comes with being an NFL star has to be just about the worst possible environment for someone to try to stay sober.

20 Re: Browns Trade Josh Gordon to Patriots

Wow - I echo the sentiments of the other commenters above - Thank you for sharing your story, it does give some perspective to what Josh Gordon could be going through. Not to make light of the situation, but moving from the Browns to the Patriots is pretty much a new career. Best wishes and good luck to you and Josh Gordon.

- Anything is possible when you have no idea what you are talking about.

24 Re: Browns Trade Josh Gordon to Patriots

Again, thanks for your insight.

The thing is that reading OBR and similar Browns boards, going into this season a lot of people who claimed experience being close to addicts said that Gordon seemed to be very much in the "unlikely to relapse" state.

"certainly hope Gordon is getting better 1-on-1 therapy than the average citizen has access to"

Regarding Gordon's getting treatment, and financial and other ability to, there's a lot of evidence i.e. child support arrears that he's lived paycheck-to-paycheck even when non-suspended, unfortunately. I feel for him because he hasn't done that much of harm to others, and--let's face it--because 2013 was amazing on his part, that I hope for his sake he doesn't end up broke or worse.

Word is that the Haslems in particular were also providing tons of personal support, but he just wasn't quite getting it.

"is that Gordon has been high for every single game he's played since college"

I remember people using this quote of his to say this would be, unlike in your situation, much of an on-the-field detriment. For him, I was more impressed that he played well with generally poor QB than played well high - although his worst QB in Weeden actually seemed to result in his highest production, because of soft zones.