Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has become the biggest talking point right now- and for good reason. Not only are hot topics magnified in the dead of the offseason, but Gordon is an elite player whose off-field issues and drug problems could cause his career to go up in smoke if he can’t get it back on track. Hall of Fame wideout Cris Carter, who was once in a similar position, stated that it would help Gordon if the Browns were to release him, as Carter’s career started to turn around when he hit rock bottom after Buddy Ryan cut him from the Philadelphia Eagles.
Tyrann Mathieu hit rock bottom when he was released from the LSU Tigers for his drug problem, and many wondered if he would go drafted, let alone succeed in the NFL due to his off-field transgressions. Mathieu turned things around, and he was one of the most impressive rookies in the league last year as a playmaking defensive back. While there’s no questioning Gordon’s talent, there’s little doubt that he has an issue, and Mathieu knows the uncertainty and problems Gordon faces first-hand.
He said to the NFL Network that it’s ultimately up to Gordon to turn his own life around, via Cardinals official site beat writer Darren Urban, “Me having been through it and having a little bit of experience with that, I don’t think anybody in the world could possibly tell him anything. No one could tell me anything when I was going through it; I had to figure it out for myself. Hopefully he will get the point. Hopefully he will get the message, but most of the time it takes for people to hit rock bottom for them to start believing in their self and start seeking help. A lot of people can reach out to you but that doesn’t mean you always take that help and take that advice. He just has to want it for himself.”
I highly recommend clicking the link above for more thoughts from Mathieu, because they are insightful and come from somebody who successfully got himself back on the right path after drug issues. Gordon needs to actively seek professional help, and it wouldn’t hurt to get as much advice as possible from others, especially those who have offered to help. But while others can help, it’s ultimately up to Gordon to get help (the support system is there for the taking), get on track, and stay on track.