The Cleveland Browns said Saturday they will release wide receiver Josh Gordon on Monday, but the wide receiver is holding out hope the team trades him, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Gordon reportedly prefers to go to either the Dallas Cowboys or San Francisco 49ers. One thing in his favor — the Browns would prefer to trade him out of the AFC, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Gordon, 27, is a talented but troubled wideout who has appeared in only 11 games over the past four-plus seasons because of drug suspensions and injuries. He caught one pass for 17 yards a week ago as the Browns opened the season with a tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Gordon showed up late to the team facility on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Schefter reported that Gordon injured his hamstring during a promotional shoot between Friday’s practice and Saturday’s walk-through session. The injury worsened an already weak level of trust between the player and the team.
Browns general manager John Dorsey said it was time for the team to move forward.
“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,” Dorsey said in a statement.
The Browns might find a trade partner for Gordon before Monday. ESPN reported “multiple teams” have reached out to the Browns about the possibility of acquiring Gordon, who is a vested veteran and would not be subject to waivers. That means he could sign with any team if he is not traded first.
Cleveland drafted Gordon, who played collegiately at Utah and Baylor, in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft. He made an impact right away with 50 catches for 805 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie, but his career took off the following season as he led the league with 1,646 yards on 87 receptions. He added nine touchdowns that season while averaging 117.6 yards per game.
Gordon’s career started to tailspin in his third season in 2014. He pled guilty to driving while impaired and entered the league’s substance abuse program after he was arrested in North Carolina during the offseason. He appeared in only five games that season and did not score a touchdown.
In 2015, Gordon was suspended for the entire season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
The next season brought an additional four-game suspension, along with Gordon’s announcement in late September that he wanted to step away from the team to spend time in an in-patient rehabilitation facility. He did not play again until 2017, when he caught 18 passes for 335 yards and a touchdown in five contests.
—Field Level Media