BEREA, OHIO – A day of celebration dissolved into confusion.
Hours after quarterback Johnny Manziel’s arrival had Cleveland’s football pulse racing faster than it had in years, a report that star wide receiver Josh Gordon may be facing an indefinite suspension shattered the city’s collective joy.
As the second round of the NFL Draft was set to open Friday, ESPN reported that Gordon, who led the NFL in yards receiving last season, had failed another drug test for marijuana and could be banned for a year. The Browns deferred any comment on Gordon’s situation to the league office. Gordon’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, declined comment.
Gordon was suspended without pay for the first two games last season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy for the second time, but still led the league with 1,646 yards receiving in 14 games. He had 87 catches and nine touchdowns.
Gordon, who was taken in the 2012 supplemental draft, entered the league with a history of substance issues. He was excused from Baylor’s team for twice failing drug tests and he also failed a test after transferring to Utah.
The Browns were expected to address their depth at receiver before the report on Gordon surfaced. But Cleveland went in a different direction in the second round, taking Nevada tackle Joel Bitonio.