Jim Brown: Josh Gordon 'ready to take responsibility'

The Cleveland Browns have yet to learn if Josh Gordon's indefinite suspension will be lifted in time for Week 1, but Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown believes the receiver is making progress.

"I've talked with Josh twice on the phone, and the last time I talked with him he sounded very motivated and I think he was in rehab and feeling good about it and discovering some things about himself," Brown, an advisor to the team, told Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer during a Browns Foundation golf outing Wednesday. "He really seemed ready to take responsibility for himself."

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported in April that Gordon failed another drug test in March, prompting the NFL to deny his application for reinstatement. The wideout can reapply after Aug. 1.

Brown told Cabot that he wasn't certain whether Gordon attended inpatient or outpatient rehab for substance use, saying he believed Gordon was at home when they spoke. Brown added: "His way of expressing himself, the responsibility he was taking made me feel really very motivated about his chance of getting back."

Brown went on to suggest that coach Hue Jackson and Browns owner Jimmy Haslam would welcome Gordon into the fold if he's reinstated.

"If he adheres to the demands that the league put on him, and he carries that out," said Brown, "I'm sure they'll be very happy to have him back."

It's a complete mystery, though, whether the NFL will agree after issuing multiple bans over the years on Gordon, who hasn't played a game since December 2014 and was spotted, in April, hanging out with free-agent quarterback Johnny Manziel in Southern California.

The Browns, meanwhile, made it clear they aren't counting on Gordon after selecting four receivers -- Corey Coleman, Ricardo Louis, Rashard Higgins and Jordan Payton -- and tight end Seth Devalve -- in this year's draft. Still, adding Gordon -- the NFL's leading receiver from 2013 -- to Jackson's offense would go a long way toward helping the Browns compete.

"He would really be a great addition," Brown said. "He's a great receiver and I think he's a pretty nice young man, but in today's society, substance plays a big part. ... He's trying. It's up to him."

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