The Browns might be able to add a playmaker without making a move.
Browns Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon has applied for reinstatement to the NFL after being suspending indefinitely on Feb. 3, 2015 per Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com. Gordon was suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and he is allowed to apply for reinstatement within 60 days before the one-year anniversary.
Gordon was suspended for the final game of the 2014 season by then coach Mike Pettine leaving him one game shy of earning a vested season.
During the season, The OBR posted a question on twitter asking him of his contract status with the Browns.
“Honestly, don’t know.” Gordon tweeted his response to The OBR on Dec. 18, 2015.
According to The OBR’s Lane Adkins, the Browns believe that Gordon will be under their control for two seasons. In other words, he can become a restricted free agent in 2017. His contract status should be clarified by the NFL if and when Gordon is reinstated.
It is unclear how the present Browns regime views Gordon. Former Browns CEO Joe Banner has said that he had a trade worked out during the 2014 season for Gordon, but Jimmy Haslam didn’t approve.
Hue Jackson was asked about Gordon at his introductory press conference last week.
“What I’m anxious to do is evaluate him just like we’re going to evaluate every player on our roster and see if they are the right fit for the Cleveland Browns,” Jackson said. “That’s what we have to do with every player, whether that’s Josh Gordon to whoever the last guy is on the roster.”
In 35 NFL games, Gordon has 161 receptions for 2,754 yards (17.1-yard average) and 14 touchdowns.
Gordon (6-4, 220) was selected by then-Browns GM Tom Heckert in the 2012 NFL supplemental draft in the second-round, despite having a history of marijuana use that resulted in being suspended at Baylor and at Utah.
In 2013, Gordon—who is 24 years old—led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards on 87 receptions in only 14 games. That year, he set or tied Browns records for receptions in a game (14), receiving yards in a game (261) and yards in a season (1,646).