Riders drop receiver Josh Gordon from negotiation list

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have removed receiver Josh Gordon from the team’s negotiation list, per sources.

The Riders obtained Gordon’s CFL rights in September after the Calgary Stampeders dropped the 27-year-old following almost four years as Stamps’ property. That initial addition by Calgary occurred when Gordon was suspended by the NFL for a positive marijuana test.

Faced with the prospect of missing a full year on the football field in 2014, Gordon considered playing the remainder of the CFL schedule, although that would have required obtaining his release from the Cleveland Browns at the time. But the fact that Gordon wanted to play pro football in Canada stands out: he’s aware of the league, respects the high calibre of talent and saw it as a legitimate way to extend his playing career.

Marijuana issues have stunted his NFL career much as they did while at Baylor University where Gordon was suspended twice by the NCAA. The Houston native entered the NFL via the supplemental draft when the Browns gave up a second-round pick to land Gordon.

As a rookie, he produced 805 yards and five touchdowns on 50 catches. In June 2013, the NFL handed down a two-game suspension for a positive marijuana test. Gordon returned to the field for 14 games putting together a remarkable 1,646 yards – leading the NFL – and nine touchdowns on 87 receptions.

After multiple suspensions kept Gordon away from the field, it appeared he was finally past four years of transgressions and ready to return for Cleveland full-time. But, according to the club, various factors played into the Browns trading him to the New England Patriots in September 2018.

Since joining the Patriots, Gordon played in 11 games catching 40 passes for 720 yards and three touchdowns. However, on Dec. 20, Gordon announced he was stepping away from football to focus on his mental health.

The Patriots are supportive of his decision.

As Gordon works to get back on the field, for CFL purposes Gordon is there for the taking by any team.

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