By Tyler McMullen @Direct_Snap on July 22, 2014
The Cleveland Browns have no plans to release WR Josh Gordon after much speculation that they may do so after the talented third-year receiver received an indefinite ban from the NFL due to another off-the-field run-in with the law. This a step in the right direction for both parties, and for the league as a whole.
Here are the top five takeaways from Cleveland's announcement on their disgruntled receiver.
Gordon is the best receiver Cleveland has and has had for the past decade or more, and this development proves that statement to be true. Gordon's statistics stand alone, but his pure talent is what drove Cleveland to ride this one out. Gordon has the ability to challenge Detroit WR Calvin Johnson for the title of the league's best receiver; he just needs to keep his head on straight.
We are talking about a receiver who played in 14 games last season, yet still caught 87 passes on 159 targets for 1,646 yards (18.9 avg) and nine touchdowns. Those are incredible numbers for any player in a full 16 game season, yet Gordon was able to do so in 14 games with mediocre quarterback play from guys like Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden. Gordon's talent is too high to just cut loose due to a bad attitude off the field.
Gordon is clearly struggling with some off-the-field personal issues right now and clearly needs to make a lifestyle change and mature into a man. At 23, he's still a kid, but he needs to become a professional sooner rather than later. I love what head coach Mike Pettine has done thus far in Cleveland with QB Johnny Manziel, and I look forward to seeing how he does with his disgruntled star-receiver.
I respect Cris Carter, I really do, but as fellow Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin stated, Carter is out of line to suggest that Cleveland should "cut" Gordon. Carter refers to his own substance abuse struggles and how Buddy Ryan cutting him from Philadelphia in 1989 saved his career and possibly his life, but this is not 1989 anymore, Carter. This is a whole different monster in 2014. Cutting Gordon may drive him deeper into his struggles.
Gordon needs Cleveland, but Cleveland needs him just as bad as he needs them. Cleveland is on the verge of something great with a new franchise QB in Manziel, a stout and young defense, and a young head coach who has done a great job so far in his rookie season with the team. But the team needs a dominant receiver to build their offense around and pair TE Jordan Cameron with. Gordon is the guy Cleveland needs.
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