4th of July Collection | Now Available at the Barstool StoreSHOP HERE

Advertisement

Report: Josh Gordon Was Released Because His 'Work Ethic' was Garbage

SourceThe Patriots jettisoned receiver Josh Gordon this week, and as has always been the case throughout Gordon’s football career, there was more to it than just his talent for playing the game.

Tom Curran of NBCSportsBoston.com said this morning on PFT Live that there were rumblings in New England about the team having problems with Gordon being late to meetings, coaches having a hard time locating him, and generally Gordon not displaying the kind of work ethic that Bill Belichick demands.

“He was showing signs of undependability,” Curran said of Gordon.

And now, a situation that didn’t make a ton of sense, begins to at least make some sense.

When the Patriots first announced that they were putting Josh Gordon on IR a week and a half ago and then let it be known they’d be releasing him, it didn’t add up from football standpoint. With or without Mohamed Sanu, you can never not use a guy with his sometimes godlike (small “g”) powers for running and catching.

So it was impossible not to assume that maybe he’d fallen back under the spell of the Sticky Green Nasty.

The toll road to denial is a long and dangerous one. The price? Your soul.  But that wouldn’t explain how he didn’t get suspended by the league and the Pats were just unilaterally getting out of the Flash Gordon business on their own.

But this report adds up. Like I said last week, the reason IR-ing him and then releasing him after the middle of this week is all about cap space and roster spots. That weird cryptocurrency of assembling a team that about 50 people on Earth understand. But the logic behind not having him still around to help you beat the Ravens is that they just didn’t like his professional approach.

This team has never cared who you are, where you came from or what you’re theoretically capable of. They expect you to show up early and put in your work. If you don’t, it’s been nice knowing you. They’ll replace you with someone who will. They won a lot before you got here and they’ll win a lot after you’re done. One of my favorite all time Belichick stories is his very first meeting in 2000. A couple of minutes after he started, Andy Katzenmoyer, who was a 1st round pick by the previous regime, came meandering in and slumped into a seat. Belichick stopped talking and just stared at him for an eternity. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?,” he said. And kicked Katzenmoyer out.

That was 263 wins and six banners ago. So it’s fair to say the policy has worked and there’s no need to make exceptions for a guy who should be spending 24 hours a day trying to prove to the world he can finally be counted on to do something other than pee bong water when the NFL Piss Patrol comes knocking.

The other part, about them not being able to account for his whereabouts at any given time, is the real troubling part. Everyone is allowed a certain expectation of privacy and time to himself. But “everyone” doesn’t have a history of substance abuse suspensions. Not to be the dad from “7th Heaven” (especially not him) who was always trying to get the kids to narc on their friends who enjoy an occasional hit of the Devil’s Spinach, but this was a serious issue. In Gordon’s case, at least. Who should be on the absolute best behavior he’s capable of.

They couldn’t afford to move forward with a guy they couldn’t feel sure of trusting beyond any doubt. They did it last year and it cost them. But then there was no warning sign. Now, with Gordon showing up when it suited him and then going off the grid wasn’t a warning sign: It was alarm. It was the Red Alert signal on the USS Enterprise, with the lights flashing and the siren wailing. Maybe Gordon will be just fine, sign somewhere else off of waivers, work hard and never relapse. That would be a pure good. But just based on this report alone, would you feel comfortable betting on that, or taking your chances with Sanu and N’Keal Harry? Exactly.

I hope I’m wrong, but this doesn’t sound like it’s going to end well. If it doesn’t, the only comfort you can take if you’re New England is it’s someone else’s problem because you got out when you did. Sad.

Advertisement