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Browns notes: Oft-suspended Browns WR Josh Gordon again applying for reinstatement

INDIANAPOLIS — Suspended receiver Josh Gordon wants another chance in the NFL.
Executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown wouldn’t say if the Browns would be willing to give it to him.
Gordon was going to apply for reinstatement Wednesday, business manager Michael Johnson told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Gordon missed the last two seasons and remains on indefinite suspension by the league for multiple violations of the drug policy.
“Josh is living with me and is in the best place mentally that he has been in dating back years before entering the NFL,” Johnson said in a statement. “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. 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.”
An NFL spokesman had no comment.
Gordon was conditionally reinstated before training camp last season and played in the preseason. His suspension continued for the first four regular-season games and he entered an in-patient rehabilitation facility days before he was set to return.
He hasn’t played in a game since December 2014, and although he remains contractually under the Browns’ control for at least another season, the team said it was done with him when he was unable to return to the field last season.
“What’s best for our football team is that we move forward and move on,” coach Hue Jackson said last season. “He’s not going to be with us and we wish him well, but we’re moving forward. We’re going to move on.”
Brown was asked if the organization has softened its stance in the nearly six months since Gordon walked away from the team.
“We haven’t and we’ve really been focused, — until we saw some of the reports recently — on the guys that are on the roster,” he said. “On occasion I would check in with Josh, just personally because we care for the young man. But beyond that we really haven’t sat down to talk about what it would be like if he gets back in.”
Gordon, 25, has missed 43 of the last 48 games due to suspensions following his All-Pro season in 2013, when he caught 87 passes for a franchise-record 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Browns traded the No. 2 pick before the draft last year, and Brown wouldn’t rule out dealing the No. 1 choice this year.
“We’re going to responsibly listen to any opportunities that are out there,” he said. “I think we have to do that. It’s not a design of ours. We would have to wait and see what might come, and what player might be available there as we get through this process.”
Brown said the organization has a good understanding of the top prospects as players and will continue to get to know them as people. Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett and Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen are considered the likeliest choices to go No. 1.
“There are a number of talented guys that will be in consideration for us at the No. 1 pick, so we haven’t the one guy that’s at the top of our board,” he said.
The Browns won’t hold it against Garrett and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson that they made public comments — in a joking manner — encouraging the Dallas Cowboys to trade with the Browns for the No. 1 pick so they could draft them.
“We’re realistic about where we are as a brand and a roster,” Brown said. “More importantly, I think these are young men who are eager to play in the NFL. They want to go different places, perhaps, but I think more important is you just can’t take it too seriously.
“Some of the representatives of the players called to explain some of the comments, and I explained to those guys at the time that we don’t take it too serious. You look forward to having an opportunity to meet them. They’re both high-character young men. Move forward, manage yourself with class and go from there. I think there’s some lessons all around to be learned.”
Johnny Manziel wants back in the league.
The Browns cut the quarterback last year and he went unsigned for the entire season. Manziel, the No. 22 pick in 2014, has posted workout videos lately on social media and NFL Network reported he’s rehired agent Erik Burkhardt.
Burkhardt fired Manziel as a client during his turbulent tumble out of the league but reportedly received serious commitments from Manziel regarding a comeback attempt.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or [email protected] Like him on Facebook and follow him @scottpetrak on Twitter.

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.


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