Since being arrested on Saturday morning, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has received an outpouring of support from those around him, including current and ex-NFL players urging him to get professional help with his off-the-field situation.
Sources tell me that some close to Josh Gordon urging him to seek professional assistance for substance-abuse issues part of life since HS— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) July 7, 2014
Everybody wanna talk about Josh Gordon but no ones trying to help smh...the cycle continues— keith bulluck (@kbull53) July 5, 2014
Instead of attacking Josh Gordon, pray for him! It's crazy to me how we judge people when we all are battling with our own faults and issues— Cecil Shorts III (@CecilShortsIII) July 5, 2014
These so called fans talking trash about my teammate are childish. You don't know him or what he's going through. Try helping him instead!— Phil Taylor (@PhilTaylor98) July 6, 2014
If you're close to Josh Gordon please help this kid, it's not about football anymore it's about picking up the pieces of his life.— D'Qwell Jackson (@DQ52) July 5, 2014
Then there is Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter, who has plenty of experience with substance abuse issues. Carter came into the league via the supplemental draft with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1987 before being released in 1989 due to his off-field problems, including alcohol and drug abuse.
"I feel for the kid, because my situation was very, very similar," Carter said on ESPN radio. Carter continued to talk about what could finally turn the tide in Gordon's fight against addiction.
"If I'm the Browns, the only thing that's going to help this kid is if they release him" - Cris Carter on @MikeandMike regarding Josh Gordon— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) July 7, 2014
Less important but still relevant is Gordon's professional career. Should he stay with the Browns, and where does his career go from here, assuming a lengthy suspension is in the offing?
On the morning of July 5, Gordon was arrested for driving while impaired in Raleigh, N.C., before being bonded on Saturday afternoon. The incident was the first time Gordon has run afoul of the law since joining the Browns in 2012, but his issues have continued to crop up in other ways.
Jon Stinchcomb of SB Nation's blog Dawgs By Nature writes that the Browns should be prepared to move on at least for this season and perhaps into the extended future.
This is a new rock bottom.
But the prospect of losing this elite, league-leading receiver for a long time should have set in by now. The Browns have known about the earlier violation and impending suspension since before this year's draft, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen. The team has had plenty of time to prepare.
If Gordon was in their Plan A, it's time to thinking about executing Plan B.
Gordon is facing something much scarier than going across the middle with a safety closing fast. Gordon, who led the league in receiving yardage last season despite being suspended for the first two games for violating the NFL's drug policy, is facing a potential season-long ban for failing his second drug test.
Despite having a prolific career with the Baylor Bears in college, Gordon was dismissed from the team due to failing multiple drug tests. The dismissal landed Gordon in the supplemental draft, where Cleveland snatched him up in the second round.