Patriots

Tom Brady is just one of a multitude helping Josh Gordon

Tom Brady is just one of a multitude helping Josh Gordon

Anyone dealing with mental health or substance abuse issues needs a web of people to help him or her get “better.”

Josh Gordon’s no different. Professionals play a vital role but then – for a person like Gordon – friends, family, coaches, confidantes, teammates and concerned citizens also have value.

Last week, Tom Brady posted an Instagram video of him throwing with the still indefinitely-suspended Gordon. It’s the latest instance demonstrating that – despite the suspension – the team has kept him involved as much as they can.

Brady’s a pretty persistent poster so – to me – it seemed like a, “Hey, this is what I’m doing today…” share. Gordon is a teammate. Brady cares about him. Wants him to play again. Is including him in an informal workout.

But since the video, the narrative since has grown to make it seem as if Brady’s role currently and in the future is to “foster” Gordon. Which seems an overstatement.

How did we get to that?

A couple of days after the post, ESPN’s Jeff Darlington – who has a good relationship with Brady – was asked about the video on NFL Live. Darlington reiterated what was often reported locally after the Patriots traded for Gordon last September.

“When Josh Gordon got to the Patriots, Tom recognized that Josh Gordon made the team better and recognized that he was going to need some attention,” Darlington said, via Dov Kleiman, who tweeted the transcript of the reply on Saturday morning.

Darlington added that, “Josh Gordon was going out to dinner with Tom Brady and Gisele [Bundchen] at times because Tom recognized that he needs to bring this guy in, foster him, make him feel like he is at home, recognizing some of the issues that Josh Gordon goes through.

“While that is, in part, a guy just trying to get better, it’s also Tom Brady being a really good person, continuing to try to help out and manifest Josh Gordon. . . .Tom Brady, to this day, really respects Josh Gordon and would love to see him live a better life.”

After Darlington’s observation and Kleiman’s tweet came a Pro Football Talk story saying Brady “intends” to foster Josh Gordon.

There’s surely no harm in lauding Brady for being welcoming last year and continuing to be now. But Brady is among a number of people – teammates and team personnel included – who took an interest in Gordon. The initial use of the word “foster” and the addition of the tidbit Brady intends to keep on fostering conjures an image of Brady taking on a quasi-parental role for Gordon.

And far as I know, they’re not out there hiking Mount Monadnock together and cooking up S’mores on the campfire.

Maybe I’m splitting hairs but – as with so much related to Gordon – there’s already enough presumption out there about has and hasn’t happened and what will and won’t.

For instance, Gordon was not at the Patriots ring ceremony, according to Paul Perillo of Patriots.com but someone wrote his name on a small piece of paper and put it at a place-setting in an apparent attempt to let him know he was on their minds.

That turned into hopeful reports that Gordon was at the ring ceremony. He wasn’t. He wouldn’t be allowed there. It would have been a nice story. But it wasn’t real.

I’ve been delving – or trying to delve – into the intricacies of Gordon story for the past few weeks. It’s complicated.

There are substance abuse and mental health components. Gordon’s right to privacy. The gradual acceptance of marijuana’s medicinal value – the substance which reportedly landed Gordon in trouble in the first place. The blurred line between Josh Gordon the man and Josh Gordon the football player and the realization that the help he gets comes with an unspoken quid pro quo that he produce as an employee as well. The question of who gets a second (or fifth) chance and why.

In short, it’s messy. And placing one person above anyone else as Josh Gordon’s white knight really oversimplifies and overstates what’s truly going on.

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Report: Antonio Brown still eligible to play vs. Jets amid civil lawsuit

Report: Antonio Brown still eligible to play vs. Jets amid civil lawsuit

As it stands now, Antonio Brown is on track to play his second game for the New England Patriots on Sunday.

According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, the NFL hasn't made any decision on disciplining Brown after meeting with his former trainer, Britney Taylor, on Monday.

Taylor accused Brown of sexual assault and rape in a lawsuit filed last Wednesday, but the wide receiver was allowed to play last Sunday against the Miami Dolphins as the league looks into the lawsuit.

Initial reports suggested the NFL could place Brown on the commissioner's exempt list while investigating Brown, but based on Rapoport's (non-update) update, it appears Brown and the Patriots will be operating as usual unless there are substantial developments involving his lawsuit in the coming days.

Brown tallied four catches for 56 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins on Sunday and could play another significant role against a banged-up New York Jets team in Week 3 if he suits up.

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Report: Antonio Brown may face criminal charges in 'next few weeks'

Report: Antonio Brown may face criminal charges in 'next few weeks'

A civil lawsuit may not be the only case on the plate of Antonio Brown's lawyer this fall.

Sports Illustrated's Robert Klemko published a report Monday revealing new allegations of Brown's sexual misconduct in addition to several other incidents involving the New England Patriots wide receiver.

In an interview Tuesday on WEEI's "Dale & Keefe," Klemko suggested Brown could face criminal charges stemming from those incidents in the near future.

"We did hear over the course of the reporting that there were a couple people considering criminal charges against Antonio Brown," Klemko said. "We weren’t able to report on any of those specifically because they haven’t gathered all of their evidence and made the filings and all that. I think that is going to be coming in the next few weeks."

Klemko didn't name the specific incidents that could result in criminal charges against Brown. But Klemko reported several instances of Brown refusing to pay employees he's hired, and it's possible that could result in legal action.

"(Brown) has a history of hiring people to do a job and then creating some sort of division when the pay is due and then not paying," Klemko said. "At some point, that becomes illegal."

The only active case against Brown is the civil lawsuit his former trainer, Britney Taylor, filed accusing him of rape and sexual assault. Taylor reportedly met with the NFL for 10 hours Monday as it considers discipline for the receiver, but keep an eye out for more charges Brown could face this fall.

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