Josh Gordon, a talented wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, has been troubled by his drug use since becoming an NFL player. It has been reported via multiple news outlets that Josh Gordon was arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in North Carolina on July 5th, 2014. It's a troubling trend for a young man that needs to work to get his life back on track.
In 2012 Josh Gordon was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the second round of the supplemental draft. They knew they had a project on their hands, however they saw the raw potential right before their eyes. In 2013 it was announced that Josh Gordon would be suspended for the first 2 games of 2013 due to violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. We knew at that point another failed test could result in a one-year suspension. Despite missing two games in 2013 Gordon was voted to his first Pro-Bowl and finished as the NFL's leader in receiving yards.
On May 9, 2014 word broke that Gordon would be suspended for all of 2014 due to a 2nd violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. Gordon appealed that ruling and it was scheduled to be heard in late July of 2014.
Which brings us to July 5th, 2014. Around 3pm EST reports started breaking that Josh Gordon had been arrested for a DWI. While our team can't independently confirm the news via the Raleigh Police, we do believe the reports via ESPN and other news networks.
The Fallout of Josh Gordon's Arrest
To be honest, the biggest fallout from Josh Gordon's DWI arrest is of what happens to Josh Gordon himself. We already knew that he would likely be unavailable for the 2014 fantasy football season, and this news doesn't change that. In fact, it jeopardizes his entire career in the NFL.
I'm not here to judge Josh Gordon. I know plenty of people who have been in trouble with the law between the ages of 18 and 25. It could have been anyone of my friends or acquaintances that were arrested for a DWI. The fact of the matter is, Josh Gordon is acting like too many other 23-year-old kids in America today.
You could argue that he never fully grew up from his past. You could argue that he's just being a kid. But the reality is, he's throwing away the opportunity of a lifetime by making the decisions he's making.
There were reports only days earlier (July 1-4) that many people close to Gordon were worried he would spiral out of control if suspended for 1 year from football. This was because he would lose his support system in the Browns and those closest to him. The fact of the matter is, that concern has now grown ten-fold in the matter of minutes.
Josh Gordon clearly needs a support system in his life to help him. We all make mistakes, and this DWI could have been an honest one. But there's no excuse for driving drunk. None. As far as we can tell he's fortunate no one was injured during his drunken drive. For that we're truly thankful.
We can only hope that this arrest is a wake-up call to Josh Gordon and those closest to him. Forget about the NFL and the career opportunities that are before you, please consider your life and the lives of those around you. No one wants to see you go out this way. You're giving those who despise you exactly what they want, to see you fail.
The History of Josh Gordon
Leading up to his selection in the supplemental draft many saw Josh Gordon showcase his talent for football. He wowed many execs with his skills but he left most of them wondering if he had actually cleaned-up his act or if he was just putting on a show for everyone.
Clearly the Browns believed that Josh Gordon was a guy who had changed his ways. They knew that the ex-Baylor wide receiver had a troubled past, but they believed that his talent would carry him forward.
There was a ride range of emotions on just how good many league insiders expected Gordon to be. In fact, one AFC personnel executive said, "It's very hard to find a comparable player. The off-field issues, you try and draw on those players like that who have turned into huge successes, and having those examples tends to give executives some peace of mind. I struggled to come up with a high volume of players that had his amount of issues and done a 180. We'll see. The rest of it is up to the kid."
We all knew Josh Gordon would be a project, and the scariest part was that his lack of earlier development was because of the man himself. If he didn't want success without paying the price, what had really changed?
Many looked at his lack of desire to succeed from his three failed drug tests as a collegian. Sources from multiple NFL clubs confirmed that two of those came while at Baylor and the other after his transfer to Utah after being dismissed from Baylor due to his failed drug tests.
The fact of the matter is, it's not uncommon for NFL players to have a spotty past off the field. It becomes a concern of many NFL teams when those off the field issues begin to affect their careers.
One NFL personnel director said "It's just something where you say, "Hey man, put [the marijuana] down. You never know which way they'll go when they get here. It's hard to know how important football is, and how important weed is to the kid. And the environment he goes into is important too. Then, it's how they mature through the process you put them through."
Gordon passed a drug test given right before the Supplemental draft and he convinced some teams that his past problems were in the rear-view.
The Browns took a chance and saw the talent come to life before their eyes. Unfortunately, their worst fears are also being realized. They need to plan for life without Josh Gordon.
Josh Gordon's DWI Arrest
At the end of the day Josh Gordon has been arrested for a DWI. His fantasy football value is in the toilet, and there's a chance he never sees a professional football field again. At least he won't be playing on one for quite some time.
Of course the legal process must occur, and then we'll hear from Goodell on the punishment he finds appropriate for Josh Gordon. He should be out of your fantasy football rankings completely, as I don't forsee any positive fantasy value in the near future.
However none of that truly matters here. What really matters is what happens to Josh Gordon as a person. He needs some help, and I truly hope he finds it.
The Cleveland Browns were fooled in 2012 by thinking Gordon had grown up. I don't think he'll be pulling that one over on anyone again any time soon.See Our Fantasy Player Profiles
For the record, I never actually played football. I have no doubt that I would get crushed running across the middle for a pass, every single time.
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