Adam Schefter of ESPN.com passes this one along, without scrutiny or analysis: “Browns’ WR Josh Gordon did not have any slip ups or failed tests, per sources. His leave is a pro-active, defensive gesture to get extra counseling to try to ensure he does not have any of the setbacks that have marked his past. Those who know him say he has ‘worked his a— off.'” (It’s OK to type “ass,” Schefty. I know you’ve typed worse.)
If this one is accurate, the timing is odd, to say the least. He’s had more than a month since the offseason program ended to take “proactive, defensive” measures to ensure he doesn’t have any setbacks. So he waits until now, with training camp opening, to take these steps? And he’ll miss a week of training camp to complete them?
If I were a betting man (and with legalized gambling coming to West Virginia maybe I soon will be), I’d wager this one isn’t accurate. Apart from the fact that the timing makes no sense, the NFL would have had no reason to say that they’ll address Gordon’s status “at the appropriate time,” if he has had no “slip ups or failed tests.”
Instead, the league would simply say something like this: “Why are you asking questions about Josh Gordon? He’s fully reinstated, and he’s eligible to practice and to play. There’s nothing else to say, especially since anything that we say would violate the confidentiality provision that we never enforce.”
The fact that there’s a “there” there suggests that something is going on. I’ve got a theory/hypothesis/whatever on what it may be. And I’ll explain it in a separate post.