The sixth time might be the charm for troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Gordon has been cleared by the NFLPA to potentially begin his comeback to the league.
The final decision on Gordon’s reinstatement is in the hands of the NFL’s judge and jury, Commissioner Roger Goodell. Gordon turned 30 years old in April, but even with that, there will still be multiple teams lined up for his services should Goodell give the okay. Gordon missed all of 2020 after he re-signed with the Seattle Seahawks on a one-year deal just before the start of the season. Gordon has been suspended so many times for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy most people have lost count.
Gordon’s first suspension was at the start of the 2013 season while playing for the Cleveland Browns. He missed the first two games of that season, came back, and caught 87 receptions for 1,646 yards and 9 touchdowns in 14 games. That same season Gordon became the first receiver to accomplish back-to-back 200-yard receiving games. Everyone around the league thought Gordon would be the next big star wide receiver after his All-Pro 2013 season.
Since 2013 Gordon has barely seen the field, despite playing for three teams over that span: the Browns, New England Patriots, and Seahawks. Gordon missed the 2015 & 2016 seasons due to substance abuse issues. He was suspended in 2015, then finally reinstated for the 2016 season, but chose to take that year off to enter an in-patient rehabilitation facility. Gordon’s career is going to go down as one of the biggest what-if scenarios in NFL history.
Hopefully, for Gordon, this time he can get it right. I hope the treatment he’s received over the past year has helped Gordon in being able to manage his substance abuse. I don’t think Goodell will pull the plug on Gordon completely. I know we’ve heard this before, but this might be Gordon’s final shot in the NFL. Flash Gordon isn’t 25 anymore, and the further he drifts into his 30’s, the less attention he’ll get from teams that think he may still have something left.
If Goodell does give the okay for teams to pursue Gordon, the league’s offices will be tracking his every move. The back-and-forth will likely no longer be an option if Gordon can’t stay clean this time. I think most people are pulling for him. There was so much potential there just a few short years ago. Let’s see if we get to see it again.