Josh Gordon Release: Why Did the Browns Cut the WR?

Josh Gordon

Getty The Cleveland Browns have traded Josh Gordon to the New England Patriots.

The Cleveland Browns have released wide receiver Josh Gordon the team announced in a statement. The release caps off an extremely odd turn of events on September 15. Gordon was named a starting wide receiver this week, but the team announced earlier Saturday that Gordon would miss Week 2 with a hamstring injury that the team just found out about. Hours later the Browns cut the wide receiver. Here is the statement from Browns GM John Dorsey.

This afternoon we informed Josh Gordon and his representatives that we are going to release him on Monday. For the past six years, the Browns have fully supported and invested in Josh, both personally and professionally, and wanted the best for him, but unfortunately we’ve reached a point where we feel it’s best to part ways and move forward. We wish Josh well.

Gordon was late coming into training camp as he took care of personal matters, the team never announced why Gordon did not report to camp on time. Gordon has battled substance abuse issues, but both parties had publicly hoped that Gordon was back in top form. There are no reports as of yet that the release was tied to any past issues.

The Browns Release of Josh Gordon Had to Do With Trust Issues

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the release centered around a lack of trust as the team was unsure exactly how Gordon injured his hamstring.

On Josh Gordon: He was late today to the facility, source said. In addition, he was fine at Friday’s practice, then injured his hamstring. The question of how is part of the reason they released him. My understanding is it’s an overall trust issue for a player on thin ice.

Prior to the season, Gordon had been adamant that being back with the team was “right where [he needed] to be.”

“I know I’m going to be here playing football, and anything outside of these walls, I think I have the right people in place to help me in any way in which I need them to help me,” Gordon told Browns Zone in late August. “As it relates to football, I’m doing well. I’m glad I was able to have the opportunity and it’s good to be here and I feel grateful for the opportunity to have the chance to come back out here and be with my teammates and enjoy this beautiful atmosphere.”

For as much talent as Gordon has, this also has as much to do about the future of the Browns as it does Gordon. Dorsey and the new regime are trying to set a high standard for players to live up to in hopes they can turn the win-less franchise around. It is reasonable to think that continuing to make exceptions for Gordon, could have had a negative impact on the entire team despite his immense talent.