This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, considering that Gordon was reinstated by commissioner Roger Goodell on a conditional basis.
Reports from over the weekend mentioned that Gordon made the decision to enter rehab this week after what was described to him as a “slip-up” or a potential violation of drug and alcohol policy. Mary Kay Cabot later reported that Gordon checked into rehab because of an alcohol problem.
Gordon announced earlier in the week that he was stepping away from football to get his life in order and enter rehab.
Several reporters mentioned that Gordon’s time with the Browns was likely over and Browns HC Hue Jackson confirmed as much Friday by telling reporters that it’s time for them to move on without the talented receiver.
“I think what’s best for our football team is that we move forward and move on,” said Jackson, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “He’s not going to be with us and we wish him well, but we’re moving forward. We’re going to move on.”
Jackson was asked why the team is moving forward if Gordon is taking the necessary measures to ensure he’s turning things around.
“You said a key, it seems like (we are done for good,’‘ said Jackson “I just think for me and for our team, for everybody involved, my goal is to make sure that we take care of the players that are here and the players that are practicing and working. I care about everybody. I think that’s the seat I’m in, but at the same time, he’s not here, so that’s why we wished him well and want the best for him and I think the most important thing I can do is make sure that our football team that are here, the guys that are practicing the guys that are going to play, the guys that are in the meeting room and working hard to get ready for a game is that our focus and our attention to detail is right.
Gordon was serving his four-game suspension but was set to return to the team next week.
Gordon, 25, is a former second-round supplemental pick of the Browns back in 2012. He would have had just one more year remaining on his four-year, $5.342 million rookie contract that$3.8 million included guaranteed had he not been suspended during the 2014 season.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that Gordon will be a restricted free agent in 2017, as he was limited to appearing in just five games during the 2014 season, due to a 10-game suspension coupled and a one-game suspension imposed by the Browns.
Gordon will have just three accrued NFL seasons by the start of free agency next year. In order to become an unrestricted free agent, a player needs four accrued seasons of NFL experience.
In 2014, Gordon appeared in five games and caught 24 passes for 303 yards receiving, but didn’t score a touchdown.