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Browns to release veteran WR Josh Gordon on Monday

In a stunning move, the Cleveland Browns announced Saturday they are releasing wideout Josh Gordon.

"This afternoon we informed Josh Gordon and his representatives that we are going to release him on Monday," general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. "For the past six years, the Browns have fully supported and invested in Josh, both personally and professionally, and wanted the best for him, but unfortunately we've reached a point where we feel it's best to part ways and move forward. We wish Josh well."

A trade could happen before Gordon is released on Monday. As many as five teams are researching possibly trading for him, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per sources informed. Gordon, for his part, is interested in potentially joining the Dallas Cowboys or the San Francisco 49ers, a source told Rapoport -- and 49ers general manager John Lynch told reporters Sunday he has called the Browns and done his due diligence on the receiver.

The Browns announced earlier Saturday that Gordon was ruled out to play against the New Orleans Saints because of a hamstring injury. Gordon suffered the injury at a photo shoot and not on the practice field, Rapoport reported. He informed the team of the injury when he reported late to the Browns' practice facility Saturday.

"Gordon did not seem to be himself," Mary Kay Cabot of the reported on NFL Network's Up to the Minute. "There was concern in addition to the hamstring that perhaps he was struggling in other ways perhaps with things related to reasons why he's been suspended from the past."

Gordon missed training camp and the preseason while he received help from a treatment facility to deal with undisclosed health issues.

He caught one pass for 17 yards in the Browns' 21-21 tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. The 2013 All-Pro is embarking on his first full NFL season since returning from suspensions that kept him off the playing field for a total of 56 games from 2014-17.

Even though he's only a third-year veteran, Gordon is a vested veteran based on credited seasons, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported, per a source. If the Browns release him as planned on Monday, he'd be a free agent immediately, he added.

The release of Gordon could mean that the Browns will be interested again in free-agent wideout Dez Bryant. Bryant visited with the team during the preseason but no deal was made.

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