There has not been a sense of unrest in Cleveland of this magnitude since… Like three weeks ago when Lebron James returned home. Regardless, Cleveland Browns’ wide receiver Josh Gordon is still awaiting punishment from his case-overseer Harold Henderson. So what is the big deal? It is not like Gordon did not have 10 minutes to “chill” in the past. The Browns view this quite differently however.
Should Gordon’s one-year suspension be upheld, his time out of the league would not be for a 16 game slate, but for one calendar year. Thus, Gordon would be out until this time in August 2015, meaning he would be absent from much of the team’s offseason schedule. This could be quite the detriment to a young wide receiver’s development, not to mention his potential relationship with quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Last year Gordon stunned league insiders and fans alike while leading the league in receiving yards with 1,646 yards on 87 receptions. While also finding the end zone nine times, Gordon cemented himself as a top five talent within the league. Decision making skills aside, Gordon is a freak of an athlete with a high ceiling for improvement, as the Browns had nothing close to a competent passing offense without Gordon.
As the focal point of the Cleveland offense, Gordon is able to spread the field for teammates like Jordan Cameron to capitalize on the open space. Without Gordon, Cameron along with free agent acquisition Andrew Hawkins, will have to shoulder the load themselves, which is a recipe for offensive ineptitude not even last year’s Oakland Raiders could attest to. Cleveland deserves a decision as does Gordon, as both sides must move forward but cannot until Henderson brings his gavel down.
Gordon managed his elite-level campaign in 2013 despite missing the first two weeks while out on drug suspension. Amazingly, Gordon could not manage to learn his lesson the first time around, and faces a career-defining decision just one year later. While more complicated decisions like the Ray Rice or Greg Hardy incidents were reasonable situations for the league to drag its feet, both the Browns and Gordon deserve a resolution.
Photo: USA Today