Josh Gordon intends to apply for NFL reinstatement soon, aiming for training camp return, per report

The NFL may not have seen the last of Josh Gordon, and the reinstatement of veteran pass rusher Aldon Smith helps clear the path for the receiver's potential return to the field in 2020. The troubles haunting the talented 28-year-old wide receiver are well-known around the league, with Gordon battling addiction issues that saw him indefinitely suspended, again, on Dec. 16. The latest punishment marks the sixth of his eight-year NFL career, but he's not giving up. It's been reported Gordon has every intention of returning to the league, and latest rumors are that he's aiming for clearance from league commissioner Roger Goodell before training camp, per Pro Football Talk. 

Gordon hasn't applied just yet, leaving Cowboys' pass rusher and Smith's new teammate Randy Gregory as the most prominent player seeking reinstatement, but the expectation is that he will soon. Despite the landing of the new collective bargaining agreement in March, Gordon and any in a similar situation -- such as the aforementioned Gregory -- are still subject to the terms of their current indefinite suspension. This is particularly key because the sweeping decriminalization of marijuana use by the league won't be of aid as it relates to his added battle with alcohol addiction. 

If Goodell does agree to give Gordon another reprieve, another failure to adhere to the terms of his reinstatement would land him right back on square one. At that point, Goodell would have full power and discretion to suspend him indefinitely, yet again. 

If reinstated, it'll be the first time in his career wherein he'll be an unrestricted free agent, but Russell Wilson would love to have him back with the Seattle Seahawks. It was Gordon's most recent stop before his latest setback, and Wilson believes Seattle has a great support system in place to help the wide receiver stay on the long and narrow.

"For me, I have no other choice than to believe that he is going to overcome," Wilson said, via The Tacoma News Tribune. "Why would you think the other way? I think that, you know, for me and just my faith and all that, I firmly believe that prayer works, like I said. I'm praying for him. I'm rooting that he can overcome.

"I think this environment has been great for him, to be honest with you. He really, really fit in -- in terms of just the everyday part of the process. Since day one he was studying and working and highlighting and doing all the extra work. He had the biggest smile on his face."

Head coach Pete Carroll agrees, and loves what Gordon brought to the table in his short stay.

"We saw Josh really at a really high level the whole time he was here," Carroll said when news of Gordon's suspension came down, via ESPN. "The work ethic he brought was one, but his getting along with people and being good to work with and to talk to and all that and to deal with on a regular basis, really, he was great."

A former second-round pick of the Cleveland Browns, Gordon was a dynamo right out of the gate in 2012. He exploded for a career-best 1,647 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in only his second season, garnering himself a Pro Bowl nod in the process. His career has since been derailed by the aforementioned addiction(s) and subsequent suspensions, however, having now spent time with the New England Patriots and Seahawks before being again sidelined by Goodell in 2019. 

Should he be allowed back in the NFL, he'll have suitors -- considering his talent level -- but he'll also need to convince them no new issues will arise. 

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