Opinion: Roger Goodell being unfair to Browns

Ty Sugick

Troubled Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon made news again earlier this week for another diluted drug sample. The ongoing feud to reinstate Gordon has been put on hold by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell since February.

Since Gordon applied for reinstatement, this is the first time anyone has received an update or reason as to why Gordon had yet to receive a response. In that time, Goodell had time to answer the appeal of what seems to be one of his favorite franchises in the New England Patriots.

New England lost its 2016 first-round and their 2017 fourth-round picks for its “Deflategate” squabble in the 2014-15 season. Even when Commissioner Goodell came down and placed a four-game suspension on Tom Brady, it was handled in such a timely manner that Brady had the opportunity to appeal his suspension and take it before a court.

Roger Goodell has not given the Cleveland Browns that same courtesy in the case of Josh Gordon. Critics could argue that Gordon is an idiot and put himself in this spot with his constant usage of marijuana. All those assumptions are very true, but from a business and team standpoint, it is not fair to string a team along.

Goodell could be more clear in the process as the Browns front offices is left just as clueless as fans. It has now been two months since Gordon’s application and free agency has come and gone.

Goodell needs to be more vocal in the process. Josh Gordon is the most explosive player the Cleveland Browns organization has seen since its re-expansion in the year 1999. The Browns’ offense lacks a playmaker and Josh Gordon is exactly that.

It’s unfair the Browns cannot have a clear plan going into the draft. In free agency the team didn’t want to overpay for a No. 1 receiver because the thought of Gordon’s possible return this upcoming season would make the acquisition almost pointless if reinstated.

The lack of communication during this process has left the organization on eggshells as they make offseason plans. If Gordon was given a clear “no” earlier in the process, you could bet the Browns would’ve been more willing to pay for a playmaker in free agency.

Goodell is single handedly holding the Browns back and he should act within a decent timeframe to answer appeals instead of selfishly putting it off. Give Cleveland the same respect and timeliness you give to New England.

As for Josh Gordon, lock yourself in a room with enough food for three months so you can’t smoke marijuana and come back and help the Browns win. You are a great player; do not throw away your talent for a high.

Ty Sugick is a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].