Pending what will be a permanent ban from the NFL due to violation of the league’s substance abuse policy New England Patriots receiver Josh Gordon has left the team.
He posted a message on his Twitter feed saying he needed to step way from football to focus on his mental health and thanked Bill Belichick, Pats owner Robert Kraft and the organization for the opportunity to play.
The prospect of Josh Gordon never playing in the NFL again is very real.
The Patriots acquired the 27-year-old Gordon form Cleveland in October for a fifth-round draft pick.
Gordon spent the prior five seasons with the Browns and was a an All Pro in 2013 when he led the NFL in receiving yards with 1,646. However, in subsequent years he saw suspensions in 2014 for 10 games and 16 games in both 2015 and 2016. He also missed the start of training camp this season while he received further counseling and treatment.
Gordon’s departure comes at a difficult time for the Patriots coming off consecutive losses in December for the first time since 2002 and are now 3rd in the AFC with a 9-5 record and will likely not have a first round bye in the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
Without Gordon Tom Brady will have to focus on hobbled tight end Rob Gronkowski and slot receiver Julian Edelmann with Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarelle Patterson rounding out the Pats receiving corps.