Josh Gordon

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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Tom Brady has done his part to 'foster' Josh Gordon

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USA TODAY Sports photo

Tom Brady has done his part to 'foster' Josh Gordon

Josh Gordon's ongoing personal issues haven't kept Tom Brady from staying close with his wide receiver.

The Patriots quarterback showed that on Wednesday, when he posted a video to Instagram of him and Gordon getting a workout in together. But it turns out their relationship extends beyond just football.

According to Jeff Darlington of ESPN, Brady did his part in "fostering" Gordon when the troubled receiver joined the Patriots last year, even inviting him to family dinners.

“He recognized that Josh Gordon made the team better and recognized that he was going to need some attention,” Darlington said. “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.”

Watch the clip below:

NFL hasn't issued an update on Gordon's possible reinstatement. The 28-year-old signed his restricted free agent tender in April, so if and when he does return, he'll be playing as a Patriot.

It's unclear when that'll be, but you can bet Brady will be keeping the gifted wideout in shape in the meantime.

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Tom Brady's workout video with Josh Gordon has Patriots fans fired up

Tom Brady's workout video with Josh Gordon has Patriots fans fired up

We don't know when (or if) Josh Gordon will play his next game for the New England Patriots, but it seems he's not straying far.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady posted a brief Instagram video/GIF on Wednesday morning of him throwing a pass to someone who looks a lot like Gordon.

View this post on Instagram

Practice makes perfect.

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

Brady's Instagram story features some still photos from the workout, one of which gives us a better look at Gordon.

The veteran wide receiver was suspended indefinitely in December for violating the terms of his reinstatement after multiple NFL drug policy violations, and there's no still timetable for his return.

Gordon signed his restricted tender with the Patriots in April, though, ensuring that if he plays anywhere in 2019, it will be with New England.

The former first-team All-Pro seemingly working out with Brady is a good sign that the Patriots are still keeping him in the mix. And as is the case with any remotely positive Gordon news, Pats fans in the Instagram comments couldn't contain their excitement.

Gordon joins rookie receiver N'Keal Harry and Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman among the wideouts to join Brady for his now-famous Instagram workout sessions this offseason.

UPDATE (1:25 p.m. ET): Brady did, in fact, work out with Gordon on Tuesday, ESPN's Mike Reiss confirmed via a source.

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