Browns to re­lease trou­bled wide re­ceiver Josh Gor­don

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Tom Withers

Josh Gor­don’s trou­bled ten­ure with the Cleve­land Browns has ended.

The team isn’t go­ing to help him any longer. He’s again on his own.

The Browns an­nounced Satur­day night that it in­tends to re­lease the for­mer Pro Bowl wide re­ceiver, whose im­mense tal­ent has been over­shad­owed by sub­stance abuse that has de­railed a promis­ing ca­reer.

The stun­ning news came just hours af­ter the Browns said Gor­don would miss Sun­day’s game in New Or­leans with a ham­string in­jury. Gor­don has been sus­pended by the NFL for most of the past four sea­sons be­cause of mul­ti­ple drug vi­o­la­tions, and the Browns have been sup­port­ive of the 27-year-old for years as he tried to get his life to­gether. Not any­more. “This af­ter­noon we in­formed Josh Gor­don and his rep­re­sen­ta­tives that we are go­ing to re­lease him on Mon­day,” gen­eral man­ager John Dorsey said in a state­ment. “For the past six years, the Browns have fully sup­ported and in­vested in Josh, both per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally and wanted the best for him, but un­for­tu­nately we’ve reached a point where we feel it’s best to part ways and move for­ward. We wish Josh well.”

The team pro­vided no specifics about what prompted their de­ci­sion to part ways with Gor­don. He re­ported to the team’s head­quar­ters ear­lier in the day, and spokesman said Gor­don was eval­u­ated by doc­tors and the de­ci­sion was made to keep him home be­cause of the ham­string.

It’s un­clear what his im­mi­nent re­lease means for Gor­don’s play­ing fu­ture. Gor­don was in the league’s sub­stance-abuse pro­gram and if he failed an­other drug test, he could be fac­ing more dis­ci­pline.

Gor­don missed three weeks of train­ing camp this sum­mer to un­dergo coun­sel­ing and treat­ment, and he re­cently said he was in a good place men­tally and phys­i­cally.

Gor­don played in last week’s season opener against Pitts­burgh, his first ap­pear­ance in a Week 1 game since 2012, when he was a rookie.

On Wed­nes­day, Gor­don, who played 69 snaps last week, said he was glad to have the opener be­hind him and was look­ing for­ward to play­ing the Saints.

“Phys­i­cally I felt great,” he said. “It was good to get that ex­pe­ri­ence and that feel­ing un­der­neath me, es­pe­cially an over­time game, the weather and ev­ery­thing, the amount of snaps and reps, it’s good for my body to feel that. I feel great now. I felt great dur­ing the game, it was just good to see that my mo­tor was at a de­cent point at that late in the game.”

Gor­don was ex­pected to have an ex­panded role this week against the Saints af­ter be­ing tar­geted just three times in a 21-21 tie against the Steel­ers. He caught a game-ty­ing, 17yard touch­down pass in the fourth quar­ter, but was mostly used as a de­coy.

Gor­don started the opener de­spite coach Hue Jack­son say­ing he wouldn’t be on the field for the first snap as pun­ish­ment for miss­ing camp. Jack­son blamed Gor­don’s ap­pear­ance on the first play a “mis­take” and “mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion,” and Gor­don said he was shocked to be on the field.

DAVID RICHARD — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Cleve­land Browns re­ceiver Josh Gor­don walks off the field af­ter last week’s game against the Pitts­burgh Steel­ers in Cleve­land. Gor­don’s trou­bled ten­ure with the Cleve­land Browns has ended. The team an­nounced Satur­day night that it in­tends to re­lease the for­mer Pro Bowl wide re­ceiver, whose im­mense tal­ent has been over­shad­owed by sub­stance abuse that has de­railed a promis­ing ca­reer.

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