After failing multiple drug tests in his NFL career, Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon will look for reinstatement this summer. His last down in an NFL game was back in the latter part of the 2014 season. He’s been suspended 27 of his last 32 games.
Gordon’s breakout 2013 campaign flashed many signs of greatness and a long list of positive things for Browns fans moving forward. But he was suspended for 11 games in 2014, before being suspended indefinitely after yet another failed drug test. Gordon has a long way to go before he’s officially reinstated, (and even if he his, he may not find himself welcomed back to Cleveland) but for the sake of complications, we’ll go ahead and assume he does get reinstated for the 2016 season.
Still just 25 years old, Gordon has very limited mileage under him. His body hasn’t taken the same wear and tear that some of these other players his age have, but you do wonder what kind of shape the guy is in. Sure, he could be in shape, but it won’t be football shape. For Gordon to regain his 2013 form, he’ll need to once again get into the swing of things as an NFL player.
If Gordon somehow matched half of his 2013 production, which totals out to 823 yards, 44 receptions, and 5 touchdowns, Gordon would still make for a good WR4 in fantasy football leagues. But that still seems like a daunting task for Gordon, who as good as he’s been on the field, has been known more for his fame off the field.
Looking at Cleveland’s quarterback situation, it’ll be either Josh McCown or Robert Griffin III throwing to Gordon. Gordon had the likes of Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell throwing to him in 2013, so there’s really no reason to think he couldn’t eclipse his 2013 performance with either Griffin or McCown. But it all comes down to how badly he desires to succeed at football again. As of now, it seems like he’s on the right path, bettering himself as a person and putting in the work to regain his old form.
With that being said however, I still don’t see it wise to draft Gordon, even if he is indeed reinstated. Picking him up off your waiver wire isn’t foolish, but don’t expect anything more than a solid WR4. He hasn’t been around to practice with the team, so he’s behind the eight ball. It’ll take time for him to get back up to speed again, and he’ll obviously have learn a new offense too. But I’m definitely not writing him off for the 2016 season, assuming he’s reinstated, I could see a breakout year for Gordon. That is of course if he’s done smoking that green stuff.