Despite ongoing speculation that the Cleveland Browns are fielding calls for wide receiver Josh Gordon, the franchise reportedly remains adamant about retaining him.
Browns head of football operations Sashi Brown submarined any rumors surrounding his oft-suspended wideout and claimed the reports stating they’ve received offers for Gordon are “probably a mischaracterization,” per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
“We’ve said all we needed to say about it,” Brown said. “We’re not looking to trade Josh.”
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) August 25, 2016
Gordon, 25, has seen parts of his early NFL career evaporate due to various off the field incidents involving substance abuse, following a breakout 2013 season where he recorded 1,646 yards, which led all receivers. He is also suspended the first four games this season.
Although the Browns have shown they’re attempting to develop a new atmosphere that arguably started when they parted ways with quarterback Johnny Manziel, the team seems to feel Gordon will turn his life around and become the leader they had envisioned him being.
“Yeah, we see Josh as a great weapon for our offense,” Brown said, per Cabot. “He’s still working himself back into shape. He’s done a good job getting on top of the playbook. He’s kind of come back in and I think even to his surprise feels much like a veteran in the room to some of the younger receivers. It’s a young room, still, a lot of young guys trying to find their way and prove themselves. So he’s actually found himself quite a leadership role coming back and we see him as a guy who can be a dynamic piece in our offense.”
The thought process behind the interest in Gordon stems from his run-ins with league issues and therefore Cleveland’s willingness to deal the All-Pro may have been high, given their recent changes in personnel and culture improvements. Nonetheless, Brown quickly shot down any of those ideas.
“I understand what the interest is in Josh,” he said. There are literally hundreds of conversations going around the league about players all the time, and if we got into speculating about all the reports, about what could be going on and what conversations could be going on, we’d be here for a much longer time than we have.”
Contrary to Gordon’s recent troubles, he’s still a vital offensive threat for the Browns, who’ve added a new quarterback in Robert Griffin III. Cleveland comes into the season with a plethora of question marks on offense, which means Gordon’s inclusion is pivotal.
There’s obviously still a chance Gordon’s name could resurface down the road, but for now, Gordon’s a member of the Cleveland Browns, and that’s that.