NFL

NFL AM: Josh Gordon’s Reinstatement Denied

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Josh Gordon’s reinstatement denied:

Johnny Manziel being Josh Gordon’s new roommate appears to be the least of Gordon’s problems as NFL Media Insider Ian Rapaport reported Tuesday that the Browns’ receiver has had his application for reinstatement denied because his drug test came up positive for marijuana and a masking agent.

This whole thing is stupid. It’s stupid that Gordon ever faced a one-year ban over alcohol and marijuana to begin with, but that’s not nearly as stupid as Gordon’s inability to stay away from things that are going to cost him millions of dollars to keep using.

As confusing as the NFL’s policies of suspending substance abusers for longer than spousal abusers is, some player’s inability to follow rules with millions of dollars on the line is even more confusing.

Gordon hasn’t played since December of 2014 after being suspended for a full season, and now he’s going to have to re-apply for reinstatement after August 1st.

Strangely, if Gordon had already been reinstated, this failed drug test would have triggered another one-year ban, and likely the end of the wide receiver’s NFL career.

Perhaps even stranger is that the NFL is giving Gordon an opportunity to try to pass another drug test before re-applying for reinstatement in August, perhaps signaling the league’s willingness to allow Gordon to return at some point in 2016.

However this situation turns out, hopefully the league considers changing the policies that would allow Greg Hardy to play if a team wanted to sign him but will continue to shun a young man for being a pothead.

Gordon is an idiot. There’s no other way to describe a guy who can’t stay away from drugs and alcohol with millions of dollars and the opportunity to play the game you love for a living on the line. But this isn’t just about Gordon. It’s about policies that say we will stand by violent criminals more than substance abusers.

If the NFL believes one of its players has a problem with drugs or alcohol, the goal should be to get the young man help. Whether it’s the first time or the 100th time, substance abuse will never be as despicable or inexcusable as violent crime.

There should never be a time when violent criminals are welcomed employees while guys with addiction are being shunned. If the issue isn’t addiction, then we honestly probably shouldn’t care if they drink a little booze or smoke a little pot. It’s not like they’re running around beating women or anything.

25 prospects to attend NFL Draft:

It wasn’t all that long ago that only a handful of players were invited to attend the NFL Draft live in New York. Now, as the draft gets set to happen from Chicago for the second straight year, the field of prospects attending the event has grown to 25.

Even a year ago, the top two picks in the draft, quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota opted to enjoy the draft from home. With Mariota’s homeland of Hawaii being so far away, and with Winston’s grandmother unable to travel, each quarterback decided that spending the day at home made more sense.

This year there’s almost no chance of that happening, as both of the top rated quarterbacks in the draft North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz and California’s Jared Goff will be in attendance. Barring a trade, there’s no chance that Goff or Wentz go first, but both of the players that have been widely speculated to be the guy that pick, Old Miss tackle Laremy Tuncil and Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey will also be in attendance April 28th.

Here’s a complete list of players that will attend the draft in Chicago. With 25 players attending live, there’s a decent chance we see some guys there on day two again.

CB Eli Apple, Ohio State
DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State
DT Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech
WR Corey Coleman, Baylor
OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State
OT Taylor Decker, Ohio State
WR Josh Doctson, Texas Christian
DE Kevin Dodd, Clemson
RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
QB Jared Goff, California
CB Vernon Hargreaves, Florida
LB Myles Jack, UCLA
DT Chris Jones, Mississippi State
DE Shaq Lawson, Clemson
LB Darron Lee, Ohio State
S Keanu Nell, Florida
DT Robert Nkemdiche, Mississippi
LB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
CB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
DT Jarran Reed, Alabama
DT A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama
OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
WR Laquon Treadwell, Mississippi
OT Laremy Tunsil, Mississippi
QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State

It probably won’t be long now until we see 100 players at the draft, but let’s be honest, we love the pageantry as much as they do, and that’s why they keep adding players.

Brian Hoyer and Josh McCown becoming forgotten men:

Brian Hoyer was the starting quarterback (sort of) for the Houston Texans a season ago, and Josh McCown was expected to be the steady hand under center for the Cleveland Browns, as the team felt (and later confirmed) they couldn’t rely on Johnny Manziel.

Now, as the league year is just starting to get going, each has taken a slide down their team’s respective depth chart, with each having to wonder if their spots on the roster are secure. Whether or not they are part of their team’s immediate future, the teams are smart to hold onto them to see if they can find a trade partner.

The Browns brought in Robert Griffin III, and as new head coach Hue Jackson has acknowledged, will likely draft a quarterback as early as the first round, meaning there’s little chance that McCown is wearing Browns’ Orange in 2016.

With Brock Osweiler anointed as the franchise quarterback in Houston, Hoyer is left to battle it out with Brandon Weeden and Tom Savage to be the team’s backup. Like McCown in Cleveland, it seems unlikely that Hoyer will be back with the team.

Right now McCown and Hoyer have become the forgotten quarterbacks, but this is the NFL. If a team is looking for a solid veteran backup, or when a starting quarterback hits the deck, these guys could very quickly go from forgotten in Houston and Cleveland to starting somewhere else, because the question isn’t if a starting quarterback will go down. The questions are who and when. There might not be a ton left in the tank for these two veteran signal callers, but chance are, we haven’t seen the last of them.


About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.