Josh Gordon will not be a restricted free agent

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This year’s crop of free-agent receivers lacks significant star power, especially if Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins are tagged by the Jaguars and Rams, respectively. (The Dolphins already have franchise-tagged Jarvis Landry.) One of the most talented receivers in the league will not be part of it.

The NFL Players Association initially told PFT on Wednesday that Browns receiver Josh Gordon will be a restricted free agent. This would mean that he finally has completed his rookie contract, but that he doesn’t yet have four years of service under the NFL’s labor deal.

But since Gordon played in only five games last year, he did not do enough gain a third accrued season toward free agency. That would make him an exclusive rights free agent. The NFLPA has clarified Gordon’s status, explaining that he did not pick up a third accrued season.

Because he’s an exclusive rights free agent, Gordon will not be a free agent at all. The Browns will be able to offer him the second-year minimum for a player with two years of service, and his choice will be to sign it or not play.

Gordon arrived in Cleveland in 2012 as a second-round pick in the supplemental draft. In 2013, he generated 1,646 receiving yards in only 14 games. That’s more than new Hall of Famers Randy Moss and Terrell Owens ever had in any one season.

But Gordon, who didn’t play at all in 2015 or 2016 due to his latest suspension under the substance-abuse policy, remains at risk for another banishment from the league.

25 responses to “Josh Gordon will not be a restricted free agent

  1. He’s a world talent that has cost himself a ton of money with his inability to stay clean. For his sake and for the fun that his talent brings to the game I hope he stays clean.

  2. I’m past the point of thinking he’s not gonna screw it up. Been rooting for him for years (as a Pats fan) but just don’t see him making it a year plus without getting into some dumb trouble.

  3. 5,4,3,2,1 Jerry on line 1, Belichick on line 1, the pope on line 1. Nonsense, team would have to be insane to offermthis guy 67 cents of guaranteed money

  4. Dude needs to worry about not being shut down by one of the worst pass defenses in the league – Packers.

    Worry about fa status later…

  5. Are the Browns allowed to offer him any extra incentives? I think if he hold out for very fair incentives, like the ability to make $3 million total if he is an all pro and they make the playoffs, they would have a hard time saying screw you, sit out, and justifying to their fans that they could not take the risk of including money that only gets paid if he performs.

  6. seems like the dude needs to play for free and put up about 2000 receiving yards with 18 TD’s and beg the Browns the following year to give him a 1 year contract for $250k. Then, sign with them 3 years from now without even speaking to another team after that.

  7. If Gordon doesn’t keep it straight this time, not only is it over for him, but he’ll be considered one of the dumbest athletes to ever play the game. So much talent… why waste it? Over Marijuana? It’s non-addictive, so there is no excuses!

  8. Gordon will take what he gets this year. He has no leverage in negotiations what so ever. He will have to “prove-it” with a full season. Even then I would consider the transition tag ro franchise tag the following year. Not like they dont have an incredible amount of cap space to make a few 1 year over payments.

  9. I hope he can thank them for giving him the chance to play again and celebrate being on the field for whatever they end up giving him. If he can do that I believe the rest will work itself out for him.

  10. spielman54moore84 says:
    February 21, 2018 at 6:08 pm
    Weed is not addictive or harmful, just ask Josh.
    Weed didn’t hurt Josh Gordon. The NFL’s outdated and irrational drug policy did

  11. This actually puts the Browns in a difficult place. If you only pay him the $630,000 you have to as an ERFA you could alienate a player who has the potential to become a true #1 WR on any team. If this occurs there is a good chance he signs with another team when he becomes an UFA in 2020. This happens and the Browns look foolish again for not locking him up when they could have. If you offer him a long-term contract you risk getting burned if he is suspended again and looking foolish for taking a chance on him. The trick will be in finding a way to make him feel appreciated with minimal risk.

  12. #NeverForget when this guy ran up 750 receiving yards over the span of 4 games in 2013. Keep in mind this was with Jason Campbell / Brandon Weeden / Byran Hoyer throwing him the ball.

    Guy seriously has GOAT level talent. Just needs to stay focused.

  13. The comments about the Browns “standing by Gordon” are hilarious. He is a commodity, an asset. They aren’t going to cut him because team’s would be lining up to sign him to a lowball deal. The single reason they “stand by him” is because it’s advantageous for them to do so, and comes without any risk, since he isn’t paid if he’s suspended.

    Stop the narrative that the Browns are some sympathetic organization that cares about anything but their bottom line.

  14. richardmswartz says:
    February 21, 2018 at 9:13 pm
    He’s struggling with demons. This isn’t a matter of being smart or dumb. I hope he found the peace he needed to beat it.


    What the heck does “struggling with his demons” even mean? The guy is a lazy millennial who is too soft to stay away from pot even long enough to earn millions of dollars per year for playing a game. He needs to grow up.

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