Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon will be suspended for the 2014 season and could miss a chunk of the 2015 season after a DWI arrest, as he was already set to be suspended for the 2014 season after multiple marijuana-related incidents. This, of course, came after he was suspended for a few games last season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. All of his off-field transgressions have placed his career on life support, and many believe that the Browns should simply cut ties with Gordon despite his elite talent (led the league in receiving last year despite poor QB play and the suspension).
It should go without saying that Gordon clearly needs professional help and as much of it as possible. ESPN’s Ed Werder reports that those close to the wideout are “urging” him to get professional help, but the most important nugget comes when Werder mentions that substance abuse has been an issue for Gordon since high school. At this point, it’s fair to wonder why he wasn’t urged harder before, and it’s even more fair to wonder why he didn’t seek help out himself.
Ultimately, it all comes down to him, and every single excuse in the book doesn’t mean anything. Forget reputation, the man’s career is on the line, and it could be a Hall of Fame one, too, if he’s able to get back on track. Former star wide receiver Donald Driver offered to help Gordon in any way possible, and he would be a perfect mentor for the troubled Baylor product. But, again, it all comes down to him, and hopefully he listens to his friends, family, Driver, and everyone who wants him to succeed. Nobody should be rooting against him and he has plenty of chances to net a strong support system, but it’s all up to him to “seek” it out and turn his life around. Here’s to hoping he can do exactly that and become a feel-good story instead of a “What if?”, cautionary tale.