Josh Gordon must be feeling high following the NFL’s decision to reinstate him. The troubled wide receiver, who’s been suspended for a total of 28 games over the last three seasons, including all of 2015, has been given another chance (though he’ll still have to serve a four-game suspension to open 2016).
What remains to be seen is whether the Browns are going to take him back. New head coach Hue Jackson has wiped the slate clean in Cleveland and is trying to establish a winning (non-losing?) culture. Whether he wants to take a chance on Gordon is up in the air.
Gordon’s extraordinary talent is not open to question, evident by his 1,646 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games during the 2013 season. Although Jackson just relieved the team of one headache in Johnny Manziel, Gordon’s potential is far more enticing, as is his minimal cap hit (just over $1 million).
Should the Browns decide not to welcome back the talented receiver, there will be a lineup of general managers vying for Gordon’s services.
Here’s a look at the odds of Cleveland taking him back, and all the other burning questions surrounding Gordon’s return to the NFL.
Josh Gordon Odds
Odds on Josh Gordon suiting up for Cleveland in Week 5: 1/4
The Browns would regret letting his talent get away. They’re starved for receivers, even with Corey Coleman. Then again, they let Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz walk, proving, once again, that anything can happen with this franchise.
Odds on Gordon being a Brown in Week 1 of 2017: 3/5
Whether he performs or not this season, other teams will want Gordon’s services, just as long as he doesn’t get suspended again (more on this later). This may turn out to be one of next year’s big franchise tag battles.
Odds on Gordon being suspended again before Week 1 of 2017: 4/1
He knows he has to be on his best behavior this year.
Odds Gordon will be suspended again in his career: 3/2
How long can he keep clean? If the reports of him and Manziel living together are true, that’s a disaster waiting to happen. (Phewf, they’re not.)
Odds on the next player to receive a season-long suspension:
Aldon Smith, Raiders: 3/2
Greg Hardy, free agent: 5/1
Rolando McClain, Cowboys: 11/2
Aqib Talib, Broncos: 9/1
Tom Brady, Patriots: 50/1
Aldon Smith is well on his way to taking this honor, and I’m not even counting his current year-long suspension. Smith has proven that we should never underestimate his ability to find trouble.
Both Hardy and Talib love exercising their rights as an American to carry a gun.
We may find out this year that the shoelaces Brady uses do not meet the required length by league standards.
Odds on the Browns beating the Patriots in the Week 5 return of Gordon and Brady: 9/2
It’ll be one of the most anticipated games of the season, but not due to the contest.
Odds on Gordon making another Pro Bowl: 4/5
His chances improve if it’s not RGIII throwing him the ball.
Odds on Gordon and RGIII leading the Browns to Super Bowl 51: 100/1
There’s a good chance that Griffin won’t even starting come Week 5. Cleveland still needs to count on the Indians to distract them into October.
Odds on Gordon catching an NFL pass from Johnny Manziel in the future: 75/1
One of them seems to have his life back in order, but the odds of the other following suit are a lot longer. Even if Manziel eschews the party life, is he really an NFL starter? Not based on his work to date.
Odds he has been using Pokemon Go as a distraction from marijuana: 1/1
Everyone else seems to be playing it, why not Josh too? [insert lame, unamusing Pokemon-marijuana joke here]
Josh Gordon O/Us
Over/under total games played in 2016: 9.5
Although I don’t see him being suspended again, injury may strike.
Over/under total receiving yards in 2016: 1,100.5
Brian Hoyer was the cause for his 60 YPG average in 2014. Griffin won’t be much better. Maybe Josh McCown can get him the ball?
Over/under total touchdowns in 2016: 6.5
Corey Coleman is only 5’9″, and Gordon is far more athletic than Gary Barnidge.
Over/under total doobies Gordon smokes in the future: 999.5
Even if he does cut it out now, he will retire eventually.
(Photo Credit: Erik Daniel Drost (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)].)