Hue Jackson Says He Wants Josh Gordon to Remain with Browns for 'A Long Time'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2018

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 24:  Josh Gordon #12 of the Cleveland Browns lines up for a play in the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Solider Field on December 24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images). (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson publicly backed wide receiver Josh Gordon and his future with the team Wednesday.

According to NFL Network's Marc Sessler, Jackson said, "We want Josh Gordon to be a Cleveland Brown for a long time."

Gordon appeared in five games for the Browns last season after missing all of 2015 and 2016 due to suspensions related to violating the NFL's Substance Abuse Policy.

In 2017, Gordon finished with 18 receptions for 335 yards and one touchdown for a Browns team that went 0-16.

Gordon's contract was frozen during his suspension, and per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, he is set to become an exclusive rights free agent, which means only the Browns can negotiate with him this offseason.

Prior to his lengthy absence, Gordon was one of the NFL's fastest-rising stars.

In 2013, Gordon was a Pro Bowler and First-Team All-Pro, as he racked up 87 catches for a league-leading 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games.

After a tumultuous collegiate career at Utah and Baylor, Gordon was selected in the second round of the 2012 NFL supplemental draft by Cleveland.

He made a sizable impact in his first two seasons, but he was limited to just five games due to suspension in 2014 and didn't appear in another regular-season game until 2017.

Although Gordon hasn't played much football in recent years, he is in his prime at just 26 years of age.

The Browns' receiving corps is lacking in terms of established producers, as no wideout reached 400 yards in 2017. Running back Duke Johnson Jr. led the team with 693 receiving yards.

Aside from Gordon, 2016 first-round pick Corey Coleman is Cleveland's likeliest candidate to be a go-to guy in 2018, however, he has missed 13 games over his first two seasons.

Provided the Browns retain Gordon, he will be in line to be the No. 1 receiver for what figures to be a new starting quarterback whether Cleveland acquires one through the draft or free agency.

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