After multiple years in the wilderness, the XFL will resume action this weekend. As part of that return, veteran wide receiver Josh Gordon will make his debut with the Seattle Sea Dragons. For Gordon, this represents perhaps his last chance to revive his football career after multiple mistakes over the past decade.
A former fringe three-star recruit, Gordon landed with the Baylor Bears and then-head coach Art Briles. The wideout’s time in Waco proved challenging with the team suspending him after he and a teammate fell asleep in a Taco Bell drive-through with marijuana found in the vehicle. The following year, Gordon received another suspension, this one indefinite, after failing a drug test. He then transferred to Utah but did not appear in a game.
Gordon finished his college career with 721 yards and seven touchdowns over 22 games, the vast majority of that production coming in 2010.
Despite his short and troubled run at the collegiate level, the Cleveland Browns selected Gordon in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft. The receiver responded with an impressive rookie season that saw him catch 50 passes for 805 yards and five touchdowns. However, Gordon again tested positive for a banned substance, receiving a two-game suspension for 2013. He went on to have his most productive season anyway, recording 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns while earning first-team All-Pro honors.
That would prove to be the high point of Gordon’s NFL career. In 2014, police arrested him for diving while impaired, ultimately serving a 10-game suspension as a result. Another violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy led to a suspension for the entire 2015 season. Gordon failed another drug test during his time away from the team and did not receive reinstatement as a result. He would not appear in an NFL uniform again until 2017. His relationship with the Browns ended one game into the 2018 campaign.
From that point forward, Gordon became a journeyman. He spent most of 2018 with the New England Patriots as well as most of the following year. After the Patriots parted ways with Gordon following a knee injury, he resurfaced with the Seattle Seahawks. Gordon missed 2020 while dealing with more suspension issues and didn’t play again until landing with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021. A brief sojourn with the Zappers of the Fan Controlled Football League followed that offseason.
Gordon last played with the Tennessee Titans, appearing in two games this past season.