Patriots

Browns' Josh Gordon reinstated by NFL, with conditions

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Browns' Josh Gordon reinstated by NFL, with conditions

CLEVELAND - Josh Gordon's personal journey, from star to suspension to sobriety, has reached a new dawning.

He's getting yet another chance to resurrect his football career and life.

Cleveland's gifted wide receiver has been conditionally reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who met with the Browns former Pro Bowler on Wednesday in New York and is allowing him to return after a nearly three-year absence.

Gordon, who hasn't played since the 2014 season, can immediately join the team for meetings, engage in conditioning work and individual workouts. He has to comply with requirements set forth by Goodell and can begin practicing with the team on Nov. 20.

The 26-year-old will be eligible - at the team's discretion - to return to active status on Nov. 27 or remain on the commissioner's exempt list for an additional week before returning to active status.

"As emphasized at today's meeting, everyone - including Josh's teammates and coaches, the Browns' ownership and organization, the program professionals and all of us at the league office - want him to have every opportunity to resume his career and to be successful in the NFL," Goodell said.

"Whether that happens, however, at the end of the day will depend on Josh. His commitment to sobriety and to reaching his goals in football and beyond will determine his success. It ultimately is up to Josh."

If he abides by Goodell's stipulations, Gordon could play in Cleveland's final five games this season.

Gordon has been in and out of rehab over the past year, and there are many fans who feel he has been given more breaks than he deserved. He had been suspended indefinitely since 2016 for multiple violations of the league's substance abuse policy.

The Browns have remained supportive of Gordon through his challenges.

"We've been informed of the league's decision to reinstate Josh," said Sashi Brown, the team's executive vice president of football operations. "The personal well-being of all our players is of the utmost importance to us.

"We respect and commend Josh for taking the steps necessary to have the opportunity to return to the league. Josh will be in our building in the coming days and we look forward to having him back and sitting with him to discuss his future on our team."

Gordon has missed Cleveland's past 41 games and hasn't played in the regular season since Dec. 21, 2014, following numerous violations of the league's substance abuse policy.

The Browns, who have started 0-8 this season and are 1-15 in two seasons under coach Hue Jackson, have control of his contract for two more seasons.

The Browns have a pressing need for a playmaker at wide receiver and Gordon can fill that void if he can stay clean.

Gordon's petition for reinstatement was rejected by the league in May and he was told he could reapply in the fall.

Last month, during leave for a rehab facility in Florida, Gordon revealed the depths of his addiction in a mini-documentary on Uninterrupted.com. He disclosed his long history of alcohol and drug abuse and acknowledged taking Xanax, cocaine, marijuana and other narcotics.

Gordon emerged as one of the league's bright young stars in 2013 when he led the league with 1,646 yards receiving and scored nine touchdowns.

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Chris Long doesn't put stock in Brady-Belichick drama. "It took everything to beat them."

Chris Long doesn't put stock in Brady-Belichick drama. "It took everything to beat them."

In an interview with The Big Lead, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long spoke on the drama surrounding Tom Brady and Bill Belichick

It's safe to say he doesn't put much stock into it

I just think any NFL team, any NFL locker room under a lot of stress over a year period, there are going to be storylines people can choose to kind of blow out of proportion or not pay attention to. I think everyone’s going to pay attention to sometimes really small issues. Whatever people are alluding to going on up there hasn’t affected their play, it hasn’t affected their bottom line. It hasn’t affected how they executed on Sundays. 

Long played with the Patriots during the 2016 season and won Super Bowl 51 with them before signing a two-year contract with the Eagles. The Eagles then went on to beat New England in Super Bowl 52. If anyone outside of the Patriots' locker room has an idea of the culture inside the past two years, Long has to be one of them. 

It took everything for us to beat them. It took a heroic performance by Nick Foles and we had to play our best game. So while everybody likes to always point to the Patriots as being under duress or there’s some drama in the locker room, there’s drama in every locker room that you could blow out of proportion. They’re just on top and those stories sell because they’ve been so great.

ESPN's Seth Wickersham released a story detailing some of the issues that arose in New England over the past few years in January, and with Brady missing almost all of the Patriots' voluntary workouts last month, some have started to wonder whether this is the end for one of both of Brady-Belichick. 

While their hasn't been much public acknowledgement from either side about the drama, but Long certainly doesn't see much substance to the noise. 

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Tony Romo's Super Bowl prediction draws response from Tom Brady

Tony Romo's Super Bowl prediction draws response from Tom Brady

Tony Romo's Super Bowl prediction of the Jacksonville Jaguars taking over the AFC title from the Patriots and facing the Green Bay Packers in Atlanta in SB53 drew a response from Tom Brady on Instagram.

The NFL's official Instagram account posted a photo of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Jags cornerback Jalen Ramsey with the prediction of Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys QB now the analyst on CBS' No. 1 NFL broadcast team. Here's a screenshot, complete with Brady's comment:

Appearing on the NFL Network earlier this week, Romo said rumors of a rift between Brady and coach Bill Belichick are overblown. “I think they probably squabble just like any married couple for 20 years, and then they also love each other.

“I just think when you work together for 15 to 20 years, whatever it is, I think that whenever you have the success that they have, people have to come up with stuff,” Romo said. “I also think that I’ve been upset with my coaches before, and then you come back and you’re fine. And then you get upset with them, and you come back and you’re fine. It’s a part of sports.”

Brady and the Patriots report to camp on July 26.

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