The NFL announced last week that Cleveland Browns second-year wide receiver Josh Gordon would be suspended for the first two games of the season and also must forfeit his first four game checks as a fine after failing a league mandated drug test. Gordon claims that the positive on his drug test came after he took cough syrup which contained codeine, a banned substance according to the NFL.
The mere fact that he has received a two game suspension indicates that at some time in his brief career, he must have tested positive during another drug test. As Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer reveals this morning, Gordon might be running out of second chances. There is a very real possibility that the talented receiver might be headed towards stage three of the league’s drug policy. If that is the case, another failed drug test and Gordon could be facing a mandatory one-year suspension.
Cabot speculates that Gordon could be on his way to Stage 3 of the drug program and reveals that going back to October 2010, he has allegedly failed five drug tests. During his college career, Gordon was dismissed from both Baylor and Utah, moves which prompted him to enter the NFL Supplemental Draft last spring.
The current coaching staff and front office of the Browns had no decision in drafting Gordon last season and, as Cabot reports, CEO Joe Banner and GM Michael Lombardi both believe that Cleveland surrendered too much in order to draft Gordon.
The Plain Dealer quoted Gordon after his selection last year as a player that appeared to have contrition over his past behavior and as someone ready to dedicate himself to playing football. “Despite everything I’ve been through, despite being a kid with a spotty background, the Cleveland Browns stuck their neck out and risked taking me and put their faith and belief in me and I won’t let them down. I’m grateful and I know I can’t go back to being the person I used to be.”
Despite his words then, his actions since have proven him to be the same old Gordon. If he is not careful, he will find himself with plenty of time to contemplate his actions while having a year off without pay. He might also find himself unemployed. If he fails another drug test, it’s quite possible that the current front office could decide that he is not worth the headaches and move on.