We have seen it time and time again. So many young, gifted athletes waste their special talent and give in to a life of trouble. It should be viewed as sinful to throw away such talent and an amazing gift, but it is still a common practice. Most recently, another star NFL wide receiver ran afoul with the law once again. The worst part is that he was likely facing a year-long suspension prior to being charged last week. Despite his talent, if the team feels he is beyond help, could we see the Cleveland Browns release Josh Gordon?
Former Browns captain D’Qwell Jackson said that the team needs to do everything possible to reach out and help Gordon. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to help someone who is not looking for it. Still, Jackson, said that the Browns need to do more.
“He needs help, he really does,” Jackson told ESPN.com. “He needs people to extend themselves and probably have to do more than they wanted to do. But if [the Browns] care anything about the kid, they have to do it. At this point calling the cell phone is not going to work. You have to fly out to him. You have to fly out to wherever he is, take him to dinner and pick his brain to see what’s important to him.”
Jackson does have a point. If the Browns really do care about Gordon – and not just as am asset, but as a human being – they should do everything possible to help him get his life straight. Sadly, while some team may care about their players and try to do what they can to help, it is not enough.
Jackson also went on to say that while Gordon is so “valuable” to the organization, that he was always “one of those guys when he left the building that you worried about.” Already facing a possible ban until 2015, the Browns fear that a year away from the team may be something from which Gordon may never recover.
So, what do they do? Do they hold onto him, at least for now, much in the same way the Jacksonville Jaguars have done with Justin Blackmon, who has some similar characteristics? The Jags have basically stated that the “indefinitely suspended” Blackmon will all but assuredly miss all of the upcoming season, and that they will reassess his future with the team after this season. Will the Browns do the same with Gordon? Will they stand by him and see what the year off will do to him? Or, will the Browns simply cut their losses, admit their mistake and cut Gordon before the upcoming season, regardless of whether or not some feel he can be helped?
Only the Browns know the answer to those questions.