Josh Gordon Receives Conditional Reinstatement from NFL, 4 Game Suspension
After missing the entire 2015 NFL season for repeated violations of the NFL Substance Abuse Policy, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been granted a conditional reinstatement by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Gordon was originally able to apply for reinstatement on August 1; however, Goodell decided to expedite the process, showing a belief in Gordon’s ability to stay clean moving forward.
“As we discussed at our meeting [on July 19], as Commissioner, I want nothing more than to see you turn your circumstances around and succeed,” wrote Goodell in a letter to Gordon released by the league. “Countless others including your agent, teammates, and coaches, Mr. Haslam, and the leadership of the organization, the [Drug-Testing] Program professionals, and Jim Brown also have pledged to provide you with every resource at their disposal.”
In other words, Gordon has no reason to fail again, and this time will more than likely be his last chance.
“But, as you acknowledged, ultimately, your future is your responsibility,” continued Goodell. “I have every belief that you can make the right choices, but it will be up to you to do so.”
Gordon hasn’t played a game since December 2014, and as part of the conditional reinstatement, Gordon will be suspended for the first four games of the 2016 NFL season. Unlike his multiple previous suspensions, however, Gordon will be allowed to practice, train, and participate in other team activities to start out this season.
“The last few times Josh was suspended, he couldn’t be with the team, and that was counterproductive,” said agent Drew Rosenhaus on the unprecedented move by the Commissioner. “This is a great change, the fact that he can stay with the team during the suspension.”
Gordon is set to return Week Five when the Cleveland Browns host the New England Patriots. Quarterback Tom Brady will also be returning from his four-game Deflategate suspension that week.
Allowing Gordon to be with the team during the suspension is without a doubt the best thing for the wide receiver; however, it makes me question if Goodell is paving the way to allow something similar for Brady.