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Cris Carter: Browns can help Gordon by releasing him

Following Josh Gordon's Saturday arrest on suspicion of DWI, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that doubt is now creeping in that the wide receiver will ever play for the Cleveland Browns again.

General manager Ray Farmer expressed disappointment in Gordon, who already was facing a lengthy suspension for substance abuse. The organization's feelings actually are much stronger than their public statements would indicate, per Rapoport.

Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter, who was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles in the midst of his own substance-abuse problems, believes the Browns should take the same approach with Gordon.

"I feel for the kid," Carter told ESPN's Mike & Mike on Monday. "My situation was very, very similar. If I'm the Cleveland Browns -- and it's gut-wrenching for me to say this -- I really think that the only thing that's going to help the kid is if they release him."

Carter pointed out that he had a great support system in Philadelphia, but he simply wouldn't stop drinking until coach Buddy Ryan gave him a wake-up call. Taking away football was the "catalyst" to recovery.

"We're dealing with addiction. We're dealing with a disease," Carter continued. "If Josh had cancer we'd put him in a treatment center. And right now that's what we need to do for him. But no one wants to do the hard thing. Everyone wants to keep coddling him, the same way they did him in high school, the same thing they did him at Baylor, where he had problems. Eventually it's going to blow up. Now it's blowing up in the National Football League, and his career is in jeopardy."

While no one is more qualified to speak on the issue than Carter, his situation differs from Gordon's in a significant way.

Whereas Carter was a bright prospect in 1990, Gordon arguably was the NFL's best receiver in 2013. He's a proven commodity. The Browns understand others teams would be willing to take a chance on Gordon's unique talent once he's free for the taking.

Since Gordon is unlikely to suit up this season, the Browns can give him a year to turn his life around as Tyrann Mathieu did after getting his own wake-up call from LSU.

Gordon might never play another down in Cleveland. Just don't expect the Browns to be in a rush to make that decision.

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