That Gordon is back in the league at all is itself a surprise. Prior to his reinstatement, he hadn't played since 2014, and it turned out he didn't merely fall victim to the NFL's draconian marijuana policy, but was actually playing drunk and high in 2013 when he set the le... read more
That Gordon is back in the league at all is itself a surprise. Prior to his reinstatement, he hadn't played since 2014, and it turned out he didn't merely fall victim to the NFL's draconian marijuana policy, but was actually playing drunk and high in 2013 when he set the league ablaze (no pun intended) en route to 1,646 yards in 14 games. Ostensibly sober, Gordon, now 27, will attempt to reprise the success, if not the conditions under which he achieved it, in 2018. We saw a glimpse of what he could do in five games last year - 18.6 YPC, 8.0 YPT on 42 targets despite no training camp or practice for most of the year, with erratic rookie QB DeShone Kizer under center. At 6-3, 225, and with 4.52 combine speed (though there were reports he was running sub-4.4 during his workouts last year), Gordon is the prototype No. 1 receiver who can make plays anywhere on the field. During his massive 2013, he was a deep threat, a red-zone presence and someone who could break tackles after the catch. Heading into 2018, the Browns have upgraded their QB situation significantly with Tyrod Taylor, who was able to connect on deep balls to Sammy Watkins in Buffalo. The Browns also used the No. 1 overall pick on Baker Mayfield, who will compete for the starting job in camp. Keep in mind Gordon did major damage with Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell five years ago, so this is the first time he's ever been paired with even an adequate signal-caller. It remains to be seen whether at 27, and with three seasons out of the league, Gordon is still the same player. He's been excused from the start of training camp to focus on his mental health, but it seems to be a preventative measure and not a response to any sort of offseason incident or setback.