The Kansas City Chiefs took a flier on wide receiver Josh Gordon after the NFL reinstated him from a suspension for violating league substance abuse policies due to his marijuana consumption.
Gordon, 30, had been suspended six times by the NFL since joining the league in 2012. The Chiefs will be his fourth team after starting his career with the Cleveland Browns and spending stints with the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks.
The Chiefs added Gordon to their practice squad, and he’ll join the regular roster as soon as he learns the playbook. The AFC West is tough this season and the 1-2 Chiefs struggled to find a legitimate #2 wideout behind Tyreek Hill, especially after Sammy Watkins departed in free agency.
If Gordon can stay clean and avoid ripping a bong hit or firing up a blunt between now and Super Bowl 56, the Chiefs definitely could use his services.
Six suspensions by NFL
During his second season in the NFL, Gordon posted an All-Pro campaign with the Cleveland Browns. In just 14 games, Gordon caught 87 passes for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. The 2013 Browns weren’t a good team either, with a 4-12 record and three different starting quarterbacks, including Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, and Brian Hoyer. Despite the rotating cast of quarterbacks, Gordon still managed to lead the NFL in receiving and earn a spot at the Pro Bowl.
In 2014, the NFL suspended him for the entire season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He was flagged for weed before the season even began. The NFL reduced his suspension to 10 games, and he appeared in five games in 2014.
Gordon’s love of marijuana cost him millions of dollars in missed salary due to a combination of stupidity and defiance. Gordon missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons. The Browns finally gave up on him in 2018 when they traded Gordon to the New England Patriots.
The ultra-competitive Bill Belichick is always willing to give players a second chance if they could prove they were committed to winning on the field. With a sober and square Tom Brady guiding him, Gordon maintained his sobriety during the first half of the 2018 season and stopped smoking marijuana until he slipped during their bye week. Gordon stepped away from the team for the rest of the season to focus on his mental health. The NFL flagged him again for violating league policy.
The Pats waived Gordon in 2019 after he suffered a knee injury and the Seahawks claimed him off waivers. He appeared in five games and started just one with the Seahawks before he flunked another drug test 10 days before Christmas. The NFL suspended him for the sixth time.
420-friendly NBA, NHL, MLB
It’s absurd to think that Gordon was suspended multiple times by the NFL for his marijuana consumption, considering the league’s long history with steroid usage. Painkillers are doled out like candy by the medical staff, and players line up for Toradol shots on game day. Marijuana, however, remains taboo. The league looks the other way when its players beat the crap out of their wives or girlfriends, but toke a little reefer, and you’ve become the league’s pariah.
At least 18 states in the US currently have legal marijuana laws on their books, while twice as many states allow the sale and consumption of medicinal marijuana. Yet, marijuana is still considered a prohibited substance by the NFL suits who continue to abide by an antiquated and hypocritical policy.
The NBA, MLB, and NHL are hip when it comes to marijuana; they don’t test for marijuana when drug testing their players. The NFL is the only major pro sports league in America that flags its employees for marijuana, but believes that instant release OxyContin is perfectly acceptable for their players to consume before and after games.