Gordon still remains on the Browns' roster, even though he hasn't taken the field since 2014, when he took the league by storm as the lone bright spot in the offense. In May, the 26-year-old was denied reinstatement by the NFL due to multiple substance abuse violations, leaving his next opportunity to apply sometime this fall. If he's eventually reinstated, the Browns have said they'll consider keeping the troubled wideout, but that debate can only occur once the league gives the green light. Until then, Gordon will be unable to take part in any team activities as the unfortunate saga continues for one of the league's former shining stars. All this being sad, even if Gordon is cleared for a comeback, it could take him quite some time to get back into game shape, and even then it remains unknown what type of role he would fill in the offense.
The good news is that Gordon has been conditionally reinstated by the NFL after he serves a four-game suspension to start the season. That said, it's possible simply too much time has gone by, and he'll never recapture the greatness of 2013. But Gordon just turned 25, and let's not forget he was the best WR in the NFL despite playing with some of the league's worst QBs. At 6-3, 225, Gordon has elite size, and his 4.52 40 is plenty fast for a physically-dominant WR. It remains to be seen what the Browns have in store for Gordon, both in the short-term and come Week 5, but the talented receiver -- who last played in an NFL game back in December of 2014 -- has the upside to reemerge as a fantasy factor in 2016, while giving the Browns a dangerous pass-catching option at wideout opposite highly-touted rookie Corey Coleman.
Gordon was handed a one-year suspension by the NFL on for a violation of the league's substance-abuse policy and will thus sit out the 2015 season.
Gordon tested positive for marijuana this offseason, which resulted in a one-year suspension that was eventually upheld on appeal. He will be able to apply for reinstatement next year. It's a huge hit to the Browns' offense, as Gordon was coming off a season in which he didn’t just lead the league in receiving. He led it by 147 yards – in only 14 games. Gordon accomplished this feat while catching passes from the trio of Brandon Weeden, Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer. At 6-3, 225 and with 4.5-speed, Gordon has prototypical No. 1 receiver size and speed. He led the NFL with nine catches of 40-plus yards and 28 catches of 20-yards or more – despite serving a two-game suspension to start the year. Among receivers with 100 or more targets, Gordon was first in yards per catch (18.9) and second only to DeSean Jackson with 10.4 yards per target (YPT), despite playing for a team that finished 29th with 6.4 YPA.
The Browns took a chance on Gordon, forgoing a second-round pick to draft him in the supplemental round last year, and it panned out.
Gordon managed a robust 8.5 YPT and 16.1 YPC on a below-average passing team, while scoring five touchdowns on just 95 targets. At 6-3, 221 and with 4.5 speed, Gordon is a prototypical No. 1 target with red-zone size and enough explosiveness to beat defenses deep.
He enters 2013 as the team's No. 1 receiver and its most dangerous outside playmaker as Greg Little has shown himself to be little more than a possession threat, and only an average one at that.
Just keep in mind Gordon is suspended for the regular season's first two games after violating the league's substance abuse policy.
After failing to address the wide receiver position in April's draft until selecting Travis Benjamin in the fourth round, the Browns made a splash when they took Gordon in the second round of the supplemental draft. It's a calculated risk as he missed all of 2011 after being suspended from Baylor before transferring to Utah. In his sophomore season in 2010 at Baylor he posted 42 catches for 714 yards (17.0 YPC) and seven touchdowns. He has the prototypical size (6-foot-3) and speed (4.52 40-time) to be successful at the professional level, but it's unclear how much rust he'll have to knock off first. The opportunity is there for Gordon as there isn't a tremendous amount of talent in Cleveland he must leap to get looks, and the Browns made a significant commitment to get him by sacrificing next year's second rounder, so he could be an interesting sleeper pick in the later rounds of drafts this summer.