Just when things were looking up for the Cleveland Browns, Josh Gordon and his failed drug test helped return the disappointing feeling that fans have felt for years.
Despite not even having the same quarterback from week to week, Gordon was able to dominate defenders any time he touched the ball. Missing the first two games of the 2013 season because of a suspension, the 23-year old receiver was able to total 1,646 receiving yards and 7 games with 100 or more receiving yards, average 117.6 receiving yards per game and catch nine touchdown passes. With the emergence of Jordan Cameron, things were looking up for the Browns.
Trading Trent Richardson for picks in this year’s draft has so far turned out to be a wise move. The Browns were able to land cornerback Justin Gilbert with its first-draft pick in the first round, and it traded up to select quarterback Johnny Manziel. The Browns were able to add a playmaker on defense, and with Manziel, the Browns are hoping that his college talent can eventually make him the starting quarterback for years to come. Not only will the loss of Gordon completely change the season the Browns were headed for, but it can drastically alter the plans the organization had for this draft.
After Gordon and Cameron, Greg Little is the only viable option for Brian Hoyer or Manziel to throw the ball to, and he is far from being a premiere receiver. The rushing attack is also very weak with Ben Tate taking his first shot as a starting running back, and without Gordon, this offense will be doomed to the poor and mediocre performances of the last decade.
After having a second chance and proving his abilities, it is really sad to see Gordon make such a crucial mistake. Not only is he hurting himself, but his actions have huge implications on all of his team members. Cleveland needs to hope this won’t be a season-long ban, but it doesn’t look promising.
The Browns appeared to have a bright future heading into 2014, but now Gordon has brought cloudy days back to Cleveland.