Josh Gordon may end up an exclusive-rights free agent next year, too

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Browns receiver Josh Gordon entered the NFL via the supplemental draft more than six years ago. But he has yet to qualify for restricted free agency. Now, he’s only two days away from not qualifying for restricted free agency, again.

Because he’s on the reserve/did not report list, a failure by Gordon to report by August 7 will keep him from earning a year of credit toward free agency. Which will continue to keep him at only two years of credit toward free agency. And that will tie him to the Browns at least through 2019.

Gordon secured his two years of credit toward free agency in 2012 and 2013, his first two NFL seasons. In 2014, the NFL suspended Gordon 10 games under the substance-abuse policy. Then, the team suspended him for one game at the end of the season. That kept him at five games for the year, which kept him at two years of credit toward free agency.

Then came Gordon’s extended suspension, wiping out 2015. In 2016, Gordon entered rehab on the brink of a reinstatement that would have become effective in early October. Gordon eventually was reinstated during the 2017 season, but (coincidentally and perhaps conveniently) he played in only five games, keeping him once again at two years of credit.

In 2018, the number of games he plays won’t matter if he fails to report by Tuesday, August 7, 30 days before the launch of the regular season. Per Article 8, Section 1(b) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, “A player shall not receive an Accrued Season for any League Year in which the player is under contract to a Club and in which he failed to report to such Club at least thirty days prior to the first regular season game of that season.”

The Browns originally announced that Gordon would be placed on the non-football illness list. Then the team reversed course, opting for reserve/did not report list. Which means he failed to report. Which means that if he doesn’t report at least 30 days before the September 6 regular-season opener between the Falcons and Eagles, he’ll once again be stuck at two years of service, even if he appears in all 16 regular-season games in 2018.

Which means that the Browns will be able to keep him in 2019, with no opportunity for Gordon to leave via restricted or unrestricted free agency.

16 responses to “Josh Gordon may end up an exclusive-rights free agent next year, too

  1. I’m sure he’s still just trying to straighten his life out. But the hapless Browns are NOT the best place for him to be doing it. That organization is rotten from the top. He would really benefit from a stronger organization.

  2. First of all, the Cleveland Browns have done nothing but support and handle Josh Gordon with respect during his struggles. Any troll on here who says otherwise doesn’t know anything about the Cleveland Browns. Trolls can poke fun at our W/L record or our draft history…but the franchise takes care of it’s players….dating back to well before our former right tackle, Ryan Tucker, dealt with mental health issues. Cleveland is an easy target to those who haven’t stepped a foot in our shoes.

  3. Another dumb rule. Aaron Donald and Lev Bell can hold out until week 10 and get credit but Gordon has a legit reason to be out (not just whining about “only” making 8+ million this year) and Gordon is the one who will be punished.

  4. mcnabbster says:
    August 5, 2018 at 12:41 pm
    Modern day slavery.

    No….just a collectively bargained contract that was agreed upon by the player’s union.

  5. I agree with BrownsBacker725… I get tired of people making lame comments about things of which they know very little or nothing. Gordon has had great support from the entire organization.

  6. I’m not a fan or hater of the Browns, but it appears to me that the Browns have supported Gordon all these years above and beyond what would be for a player with such troubles. They had every right to cut their losses long ago as not being worth the trouble dealing with an addict, but they stuck with him. It seems to me that Gordon owes a LOT to the Browns.

  7. SundayPsychic says:
    August 5, 2018 at 12:13 pm
    Greg3117 – Chris Weinke wants to say hi.
    Touche! Well played sir.
    I actually thought about him the minute I hit enter.

  8. greg3117 says:
    August 5, 2018 at 3:24 pm
    SundayPsychic says:
    August 5, 2018 at 12:13 pm
    Greg3117 – Chris Weinke wants to say hi.
    Touche! Well played sir.
    I actually thought about him the minute I hit enter.
    I thought about Weinke & Danny Watkins, but Watkins washed out at age 29… 1 week into his 3rd season.

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