The Cleveland Browns just can’t catch a break. They come out strong in the NFL Draft and land a shutdown corner to play opposite Joe Haden, and then also land a potential superstar QB in Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel. In the off-season they signed possibly the best free agent RB in Ben Tate from the Houston Texans. Brian Hoyer, who played the best QB the Browns have seen since Derek Anderson’s single good season, is healthy again from his injury he suffered against the Bills early last season and looking even more talented and confident than before.
With all this good news you would think that things are starting to look up for possibly the NFL’s most snake bitten franchise, but you would be wrong. We recently found out, one day after the Browns basically traded future star WR Sammy Watkins to the Buffalo Bills, that the Browns’ current star receiver Josh Gordon could be facing a season long suspension for once again violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Of course this isn’t the first time Josh Gordon has been in trouble, or even the second or third time.
Gordon’s college career was marred by off the field incidents as well as a two game suspension last season for violating the substance abuse policy. Even with his extraordinary talent, his name came up in trade rumors last season around the trade deadline because of his inability to stay out of trouble. While hindsight is 20/20, the Browns probably would have been smart to trade him while he was worth something. If this season long suspension ends up happening, his trade value will be absolute zero.
This leads to my solution: The Browns must cut ties with Josh Gordon. They can’t waffle on this and they have to be swift and firm. If the suspension does indeed come down, the Browns must cut him. While every successful team wasn’t built on just stand up guys alone, there comes a point where a player’s actions become cancer for a team. Josh Gordon is a fingernail’s length away from being full-blown cancer. The Browns are a young and talented team and the sky is the limit for them. They need to take care of situations like this immediately, before they hinder the team’s growth and chemistry.
If Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer are as good as advertised, they will be able to get along without Gordon. The Browns may even want to consider trading one of their two first round picks next season for a proven young receiver who has already accomplished something in the NFL rather than waiting to see who is available in next year’s draft. Whatever the Browns decide, they best decide quickly and make the decision with authority.