While Josh Gordon's professional fate hangs in the balance -- a decision on his possible year-long suspension related to violating the league's substance abuse policy could come in the next few weeks -- Hall of Famer and former Browns player Jim Brown wants to help the wide receiver get his life on track.
"We have to support him and educate him," Brown told Northeast Ohio Media Group on Tuesday, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "You can only do that though leadership in player engagement."
Gordon, who was suspended two games to begin the 2013 season, now faces a year-long ban after a failed drug test for marijuana. But he argued in his appeal recently that his failed drug test was a result of second-hand smoke. As CBSSports.com's John Breech wrote Monday, Gordon's failed test came out at 16 nanograms per milliliter, just one nanogram above the NFL's threshold of 15 nanograms per milliliter.
Whatever the particulars, Brown's point remains: Gordon needs support.
"It's about two levels: We hope he can get his life together in the right way and as a football player we hope like hell he can play (again)," Brown said. "It's definitely No. 1 first. As a human being, he's got to get his life together."
One problem: Should Gordon be suspended, he won't be have access to the team facility or be allowed to practice with his teammates.
And while Brown didn't want to weigh in on whether those collectively bargained rules should be relaxed for players dealing with substance-abuse issues, he did offer this: "I'll just say people need people. We've got player engagement here. Through player engagement we can take advantage of alumni, take advantage of the relationships we have with each other."