A breakdown of trust between the Browns and troubled receiver Josh Gordon ultimately led to his departure this week, after he allegedly misled the team and sustained an injury while shooting a commercial at the Berea, Ohio, facility, sources tell The Athletic.
Originally given the green light by the club to conduct a photo shoot for his clothing line, Gordon instead participated in what was said to be a “hype video,” which included football drills and was set to debut on social media. Participating in a slew of drills Friday night, including the 40-yard dash, Gordon grabbed at his hamstring and limped on set, an insider said.
Cameramen reportedly were dismissed from production around 11:45 p.m., and Gordon was missing in action Saturday morning, failing to show up on time for a team meeting. He instead arrived 10 minutes late and went to the training room to consult with the medical staff, who ruled him out for Sunday’s game against the Saints.
The Browns had had enough and dealt Gordon to New England for a fifth-round pick Monday. That was after Gordon took to Instagram, laughing at reports about breaking the team’s trust.
“This afternoon we informed Josh Gordon and his representatives that we are going to release him on Monday,” general manager John Dorsey said in a statement.
“For the past six years, the Browns have fully supported and invested in Josh, both personally and professionally and wanted the best for him, but unfortunately we’ve reached a point where we feel it’s best to part ways and move forward. We wish Josh well.”
Selected in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft, Gordon went on to sign a four-year, $5.3 million deal with the team. His struggles with substance abuse cast a heavy shadow over his career.
“Huge s/o [shoutout] to the city of Cleveland, this place will always feel like home to me … I’m extremely honored and blessed to have been able to grow up and start a life amongst such a passionate and motivated group of individuals … It’s been a hell of a journey with you guys,” Gordon posted Saturday on Instagram.