For the second straight year, and the fourth time since 2015, former New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon will end a season on the league’s suspension list: as the NFL announced earlier today, the 28-year-old has been suspended for violating the league’s policies on performance-enhancing substances and substances of abuse.
The Patriots originally acquired Gordon via trade from the Cleveland Browns last season, and brought an immensely talented player on board — but one that had a history of substance abuse: he had missed two whole seasons because of suspension and only appeared in 10 total games after leading the league with 1,646 receiving yards in 2013. Early on during his tenure in New England, though, it seemed as if he had turned a corner.
Gordon appeared to adapt well to the change of scenery and immediately became a contributor on one of the NFL’s best teams. Eventually, however, he relapsed again and in December was indefinitely suspended by the league to put a premature end to his first season with the Patriots. He did return to New England’s active roster in mid-August this year, but failed to build on the success he had during his brief tenure with the club in 2018.
The team ultimately decided to move on from Gordon in October: he was first placed on injured reserve, and later released from the list and subjected to waivers. And with the Seahawks the only team to put in a claim, the former Patriot ended up in Seattle. Gordon went on to appear in five games for the team, catching seven passes for 139 yards, before the NFL suspended him again earlier today.
While the suspension does have an on-field impact and will be analyzed in New England with the backdrop of the Patriots’ decision to part ways with him two months ago, only one perspective truly matters: the most important thing is that Gordon finds the help that he needs, and that he will successfully fight the demons that have plagued him for far too long.