The NFL Has Denied Josh Gordon's Reinstatement Request Again

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Cleveland Browns v Atlanta Falcons

Pro Football Talk – The NFL reinstated Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant and Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington from suspensions recently, but they have reportedly taken a different position on wide receiver Josh Gordon’s bid to resume his playing career.

Tom Pelissero of USA Today reports that the NFL has denied Gordon’s request for reinstatement. Per the report, Gordon can try again in the fall.

Gordon was conditionally reinstated last summer with the league tacking on a four-game suspension to start the season, but he checked into rehab in September and never returned to the field. He last played for the Browns in 2014.

I’ve always felt a kindred spirit thing with Josh Gordon because I owned him in fantasy his first two years where, despite a suspension, he tore up the NFL and looked like one of the most legit wide receivers to come along in years. But more than that, he’s a dude who LOVES weed. And I’m a firm believer that while, yes, he should be able to stop smoking because this is his livelihood, legacy, and millions of dollars on the line, I also believe it’s absurd that he’s still being penalized to the point he can’t even play in a profession he’s so insanely skilled at. Here’s what happened when he was suspended in 2016:

Gordon’s sample, which was collected in early March, tested positive for marijuana and dilute, according to a source informed of the results of the test. The source added that both the “A” and “B” samples collected were positive for marijuana and dilute. Though the level of marijuana was below the 35 nanograms per milliliter required for a positive test, the diluted sample is considered a positive test.

He didn’t even really hit the amount of marijuana required to fail the test. And before that, his suspension issues were alcohol-related:

Gordon addresses his letter to Charles Barkley, Stephen A. Smith, Cris Carter and “other interested parties.” Barkley, Smith and Carter are three pundits who have criticized Gordon, who recently failed a drug test after reportedly testing positive for alcohol. He was arrested for DWI over the summer following his suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy.

So basically Josh Gordon has been suspended for two years now with faint hopes of being reinstated in the fall for…a crime that many players have only been suspended a month for and smoking a drug that’s legal in significant portions of the state. A DWI? Yeah that sucks, but the most recent NFL DUI with the Rams’ Troy Hill resulted in a fine, no suspension, and the player being released then immediately re-signed. In what other world does this ongoing Josh Gordon situation happen? The guy has missed 45 potential games now because of one legal infraction and otherwise living exactly the same way a substantial portion of society does. He drinks, he made one mistake, he tokes up, that’s a reason to keep him out of the league more than domestic abusers, people who’ve actually killed someone, or guys who never actually inflated footballs?

Call him an idiot for not living up to the collective bargaining agreement but it sucks to me that Josh Gordon can’t spark one up or make the same mistake hundreds of NFL players have made over the years without losing his livelihood and something he could have been an all-timer at. This is the fourth straight year saying this now but come on NFL, #FreeJoshGordon.