To say that Josh Gordon’s NFL career has been tumultuous might be putting it lightly. The promising young receiver was once an All-league talent, but his inability to stay out of trouble have made him more likely to garner headlines off the field than on it.
Gordon has been fined for his behavior multiple times and suspended for at least a game for most of his career. This has cost him lots of money.
Josh Gordon’s early troubles
Gordon was drafted with the first pick of the second round in the 2012 NFL Supplemental draft, according to Sports Illustrated. His career at Baylor was cut short at Baylor University after he was arrested for marijuana possession after falling asleep at a Taco Bell drive-thru. At the time, however, the Cleveland Browns were starved for a new receiver, and Gordon’s talent was undeniable.
Although Gordon had not played football in two years, the Browns took a chance on him. After all, just because a player falls to the supplemental draft does not mean that he’s going to fail. These character issues from Baylor would eventually creep up on the Browns. At first, Gordon appeared to be a steal.
Welcome to the NFL
Josh Gordon started 13 games his rookie season, catching the ball 50 times for 805 yards and five touchdowns. It was his second year. However, that put him on the map.
Gordon didn’t just look like a promising young player; he looked like a superstar. He doubled up on the previous season’s output in 14 games, catching the ball 87 times for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. This gave him a spot on the NFL’s All-Pro team.
The years since, however, have been a disaster. Gordon had a habit of smoking marijuana that dated back to his pre-teen days. He claimed that he used it for medicinal purposes, but the NFL still had strict policies against it. Gordon missed the entirety of the 2015 and 2016 seasons before playing just five games for the Browns in 2017.
After one game with Cleveland, he was shipped to New England. With the Patriots, Gordon showed promise, but he fell back into old habits. After focusing on his mental health, he returned to the team in 2019 only to be cut in October.
Gordon finished his season with the Seattle Seahawks At the end of the season, however, Gordon was suspended indefinitely again for violating the substance abuse policy.
Josh Gordon’s broken record
SB Nation says Gordon has been suspended five times since entering the NFL on top of his college career. To this day, he shows promise as a wide receiver, but his refusal to listen to the NFL and continual marijuana use has made him a pariah. His talent has never been under question. However, his willingness to conform to the rules of the league continues to this day.
By adding another suspension at the end of last season, Gordon may have put another nail in his coffin. Gordon has gotten multiple opportunities in a league built on second chances that always led him back to the same path.
Already old in receiver years, don’t be surprised if Gordon’s days as an NFL receiver are over. However, he does not have a lot of money to fall back on to add insult to injury.
What is Gordon’s net worth?
A player of Gordon’s talent will usually garner several million dollars in pay a year. While his $6 million earnings (per Spotrac) are nothing to complain about, Gordon has left more money on the table than he’s earned.
Since 2013, Gordon has been suspended more than he has played. With each of these suspensions including a fine. In fact, Gordon has been fined almost $2.5 million since joining the NFL.
He is currently worth just $3 million according to Celebrity Net Worth, but if he can’t find work, that could dwindle even less. Gordon is a cautionary tale of what can happen to an athlete who does not take their career seriously.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference