Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon, suspended by the NFL late last season, officially has filed for reinstatement, ESPN.com reported, with confirmation by an unidentified source of Pro Football Talk’s initial report over the weekend.
Gordon was suspended Dec. 20 for violating the terms of his reinstatement under the league’s substance abuse policy. He missed New England’s last two regular-season games and its playoff run to a Super Bowl title.
His reinstatement and its timing is up to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
If reinstated, he would be under contract with the Patriots for 2019 since he signed his restricted free agent tender in April. His base salary would be $2.025 million.
Gordon has been an All-Pro receiver (2013) when healthy, and if he plays this season for the Patriots, he could help mitigate the team’s loss of starting tight end Rob Gronkowski to retirement.
Acquired early last season from the Browns, who’d grown disenchanted with him, Gordon had 40 receptions for 720 yards and three touchdowns in 11 starts for the Patriots before his suspension.
Asked in March about Gordon’s status, Goodell said, “The first thing is to focus on Josh himself as a young man, and what he needs to do to get his life on the right track.”
It’s unclear whether Gordon, even if reinstated, would be required to sit out more regular-season games.
“Once he gets on the right track, we’ll get to that place,” Goodell said in March. “But I think right now, he has had a complete focus on ‘I have to get myself all cleared in the right place before I can get back on the field.'”
ESPN noted that Gordon’s filing for reinstatement could be viewed as the receiver feeling he has reached that point.
Gordon, who has grappled with sobriety throughout his NFL career, has been suspended on multiple occasions by the league for violations of the substance abuse policy.