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Browns' Josh Gordon suspended at least 1 year by NFL


The NFL announced Tuesday that Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been suspended without pay for at least one year for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Media's Albert Breer reported the impending suspension last week, after Gordon had tested positive for alcohol. The suspension begins immediately and is effectively indefinite, as Gordon must apply for reinstatement next February.

"As we have conveyed, we are disappointed to once again be at this point with Josh," general manager Ray Farmer said in a statement released by the team. "Throughout his career we have tried to assist him in getting support like we would with any member of our organization. Unfortunately our efforts have not resonated with him.

"It is evident that Josh needs to make some substantial strides to live up to the positive culture we are trying to build this football team upon. Our hope is that this suspension affords Josh the opportunity to gain some clarity in determining what he wants to accomplish moving forward and if he wants a career in the National Football League. We will have no further comment on Josh as he will not be permitted in our facility for the duration of his suspension."

It's obviously a strong message sent by Farmer, who openly questioned Gordon's desire for an NFL career. The 2015 season will be the third consecutive in which Gordon serves time for violating the substance abuse program.

The 23-year-old managed to lead the NFL in receiving in 2013 despite a two-game ban to start the season.

In an open letter penned to his critics last week, Gordon acknowledged imbibing "two beers and two drinks" during an early January private flight to Las Vegas with several teammates. He added that it was the first time he had consumed alcohol since his July 2014 DWI arrest that instigated the testing.

Due to the multiple suspensions, Gordon has been unable to accrue the time served to trigger free agency. If he does play football again, he will remain under the Browns' control through at least the 2017 season.

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