Josh Gordon is getting yet another chance. The NFL is reinstating the troubled wide receiver from his most recent suspension, ESPN first reported. Gordon could play as soon as next week.
Josh Gordon reinstated following yearlong-plus suspension
First, he needs a team to sign him. Gordon last played in the NFL on Dec. 15, 2019, for the Seattle Seahawks. They cut him in March.
“We are grateful that the NFL appreciates the work that Josh put in and now he has earned another opportunity to be part of this league,” Gordon’s new agent, Zac Hiller, told ESPN. “We are proud of Josh, and I know all the fans can’t wait to see him on Sundays.”
Before we find out where Gordon goes next, let’s revisit where he’s been.
Gordon’s career timeline
College: Gordon had multiple drug-related incidents at Baylor, including an arrest for possession (although the charges were eventually dropped), which led to his eventual departure from the program. He entered the 2012 Supplemental Draft, and the Browns took him in the second round.
2013: Suspended by the NFL for the first two games of the season for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He still had by far the best season of his career — 1,646 yards, 9 touchdowns — in only 14 games.
2014: Suspended separately by the NFL and the Browns for a total of 11 games after violations of both the drug policy and team rules. Gordon also was arrested on suspicion of DWI in July; he ultimately pleaded guilty and received probation.
2015: Tested positive for alcohol use — a prohibited substance for those in the NFL’s substance abuse program — and slapped with a yearlong suspension. He did not appear in a game.
2016: After failing another drug test, Gordon looked to be out of chances. Yet, the NFL gave him another one — but he wasn’t yet ready to return to football. Instead of playing, he enters rehab and misses the entire season.
2017: The NFL rejected his reinstatement request in the spring but finally allowed him to return to football late in the season. Gordon appeared in the final five games of the season for the Browns, catching 18 balls for 335 yards.
2018: Traded to the Patriots early in the season, Gordon largely stayed out of trouble (other than a minor punishment for arriving late to Patriots commitment) until another relapse late in the year. He announced late in the season that he was stepping away from the game to focus on his mental health, missing the Patriots’ sixth Super Bowl.
2019: Another year, another in-season team change, followed by a year-ending suspension. The Patriots cut Gordon after he missed time with a knee injury, and the Seahawks picked him up. However, he would last just five games until the NFL suspended him for a sixth time for substance abuse.
2020: Missed the entire season after failing to satisfy all terms of his conditional reinstatement. The Seahawks cut him the following offseason, and Gordon has been without a team since.