Josh Gordon Reportedly Denied Reinstatement by NFL; Can Reapply in Fall

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2017

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 21: Josh Gordon #12 of the Cleveland Browns watches the action against the Carolina Panthers on December 21, 2014 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The NFL reportedly declined the reinstatement application from Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon on Thursday.

Tom Pelissero‏ of USA Today first reported the news. Tony Grossi of Fox Sports Ohio confirmed Gordon can file another petition in the fall.

Gordon filed for reinstatement in early March. At that time, ESPN's Adam Schefter passed along comments from Michael Johnson, the wideout's business manager, about the Browns star's progress since his last NFL appearance in 2014.

"Josh is living with me and is in the best place mentally that he has been in dating back years before entering the NFL," he said. "He has taken the proper steps to treat his issues and has followed a very strict protocol that the league and our team here has laid out for him."

Johnson added: "He's also in the best shape of his life and feels even better than he did when he had his breakout year in 2013. This will be a special year for Josh and we are all very proud of the way he has taken the necessary steps to turn his life around."

The 26-year-old Texas native originally received conditional reinstatement from the NFL last July, which came with a four-game suspension. Before he could return to action, however, Gordon announced in September his intention to enter a rehabilitation facility.

"After careful thought and deep consideration I've decided that I need to step away from pursuing my return to the Browns and my football career to enter an in-patient rehabilitation facility," he said. "This is the right decision for me and one that I hope will enable me to gain full control of my life and continue on a path to reach my full potential as a person. I appreciate the support of the NFL, NFLPA, the Browns, my teammates, my agent and the community through this extremely challenging process."

In March, Browns general manager Sashi Brown said the franchise would consider Gordon as an option despite his off-field trouble if he received NFL clearance, per Mary Kay Cabot of

"Josh, assuming that he'd play at the level we started to see glimpses of last preseason and certainly when he was in the league before, would be a talent I think no team in the NFL would turn down if he got back in," Brown said. "Our decision with Josh is just understanding where he is in his process and being able to add him, but we're not in a position at the wide receiver to turn down a guy like Josh if we feel like he's settled himself."

Gordon last played in regular-season games during the 2014 season. He's caught 161 passes for 2,754 yards and 14 touchdowns in 35 career appearances for the Browns, who selected him out of Baylor in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft.

The NFL did not immediately announce why it declined Gordon's application for reinstatement. The timetable for his next reinstatement opportunity makes it unclear whether he could be available for Cleveland during the 2017 season.