A new report has pointed to the possibility of wide receiver Josh Gordon, who had last played for the Seattle Seahawks in the 2019 NFL season, petitioning the league for reinstatement in hopes of returning in time for the 2020 campaign.
On Thursday, Mike Florio of NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk cited an unnamed source familiar with Gordon's situation, noting that he will "soon" be applying for reinstatement. The receiver, who received an indefinite suspension from the NFL in December last year due to violations of the league's substance abuse policy, is reportedly "doing well" and working out in hopes of getting to play soon. As further noted by Florio, it appears that Gordon is hoping to be cleared to return to action before training camp opens.
The new update on Gordon comes shortly after Dallas Cowboys defensive end Aldon Smith was officially reinstated, thus allowing him to suit up in the coming season five years after he last played in the NFL. Similarly, it was reported by The Dallas Morning News in March that another Cowboys defensive lineman, Randy Gregory, also plans to apply for reinstatement after missing 46 games in five seasons due to suspensions.
Per the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its Players Association, the league will no longer suspend players automatically if they test positive for marijuana, as explained by Bleacher Report. But even with this less stringent substance abuse policy in place, it was noted that anyone who remains suspended at the moment will still have to petition the league for reinstatement.A former second-round supplemental draft pick out of Baylor, Gordon had his best season while playing for the Cleveland Browns in 2013, earning All-Pro honors and tallying 87 receptions for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. Since that season, however, the 29-year-old has received five suspensions and appeared in a total of only 33 games. He has since suited up for two other teams following his stint with the Browns — the New England Patriots and the Seahawks.
Splitting time between New England and Seattle last season, Gordon was limited to just 27 receptions for 426 yards and one touchdown in 11 games. However, as Bleacher Report observed, he still averaged 15.8 yards per reception, thus proving that he could still be a valuable addition to whichever team signs him for the 2020 season, assuming he gets reinstated.
As he played enough games for the Seahawks in 2019 to meet his contractual obligations, Gordon will be eligible to sign with any team as an unrestricted free agent if the NFL decides to lift his suspension.