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