Late Saturday night, news broke that the Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon next week, if they can't find a trade between now and then. Gordon reportedly injured his hamstring at a promotional shoot and showed up to the facility later than expected, and the Browns decided they had enough.
Of course, given Gordon's previous issues, there was near-immediate speculation that there was more to this situation than we were led to believe. Not so, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, who said the impending release of the star wideout has nothing to do with any substance abuse related issues, and really is just about an injured hamstring and habitual tardiness that led the team to feel it could no longer trust him.
As of now does not sound like there is any off field issue to prevent another team from signing Josh Gordon. Browns reached a point where they could no longet trust the troubled WR, I'm told.— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 15, 2018
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport echoed JLC's report on Sunday morning.
Browns GM John Dorsey released the following statement about Gordon:
"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."
Gordon, now 27 years old, led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards on 87 receptions in 2013, but then played just 10 games over the next four seasons while serving multiple suspensions resulting from violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Cleveland prefers to trade WR Josh Gordon out of the AFC, and to an NFC team, and that's the Browns' current intent, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 16, 2018
Gordon knows he has no say in where he is traded, but the two places he's hoping to land are with the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys.
The Browns welcomed him back this offseason and played him for 78 percent of the snaps in Week 1. He caught a game-tying touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor for his only catch of the day. With Gordon now out of the mix, rookie Antonio Callaway will likely see an uptick in snaps.