"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. As many as five teams are researching possibly trading for him, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per sources informed.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen says this decision was the culmination of many factors and that the Browns no longer felt they could trust Gordon. Gordon has been suspended for most of the past four seasons because of multiple drug violations.
Josh Gordon's tenure with the Cleveland Browns will likely go down as one of the most riveting, mercurial and ultimately tragic sagas in the city's colorful sports history, but that doesn't mean the wide receiver hasn't seen his last National Football League snap.
Gordon had a touchdown catch in the Browns' Week 1 tie with Pittsburgh. In 2014, Gordon was suspended for the whole year, but it was later reduced to 10 games. Additionally, thanks to some interesting service time rules, Gordon would immediately hit free agency rather than go through waivers if the Browns cut him loose.
Despite his past issues, Gordon was welcomed back by the Browns late last season.
In those five games, Gordon turned 18 catches into 335 yards and one touchdown.
The Browns got a glimpse of what a healthy and focused Gordon could do over the last five games of the 2017 season after his return from his latest NFL-mandated suspension, which lasted almost three full seasons. With Gordon gone, the team will rely heavily on Rashard Higgins and Antonio Callaway to work alongside Jarvis Landry and tight end David Njoku.