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Donte Whitner: Browns shouldn't release Josh Gordon

As Cleveland welcomes LeBron James home to the Cavaliers, the city's football team -- the Browns -- patiently awaits word on the fortunes of Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon.

Already facing a potentially lengthy suspension for a positive drug test, Gordon further soiled his disastrous offseason with last weekend's arrest on suspicion of DWI.

"It's a big blow to us. I would be lying if I said it wasn't," Browns safety Donte Whitner told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Friday. "The thing is, we have to rally around him. I know all the dumb things people say -- 'he should be cut, he should be this' -- he shouldn't."

Whitner said that he and cornerback Joe Haden and "most" of the team have reached out to Gordon, noting that the wideout is "very remorseful."

"He's a 23-year-old kid; he made some mistakes. A lot of people's 20-year-old sons make mistakes. We have to help him, and that's the bottom line," Whitner said. "We have to help him collectively. It's not going be one person that helps him, it's not going to be two people that help him. It's gonna come from the front office, the coaching staff, the players and his whole family. We have to help him -- not only for football purposes, but for life purposes to get his life in order."

That runs counter to the counsel of Hall of Fame wideout Cris Carter, who urged the Browns to send Gordon a wakeup call by releasing him.

That would serve as a dire mistake. Gordon's entire career lies ahead of him. It makes sense for Cleveland to support their young player and hope for the best before making last year's leading receiver available to 31 other teams.

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