Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter ripped Josh Gordon, who tested positive for marijuana use and is in danger of a season-long suspension, in an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer on June 2.
Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter says substance abuse is more important for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon at this point in his career.
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This is precisely what Carter said in an interview with The Northeast Ohio Media Group's Mary Kay Cabot on June 2:
"Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter, who overcame drug addiction early in his career, stressed that Browns receiver Josh Gordon won't change until he finds his own rock bottom and asks for help.
"'It's fairly obvious that (using substances) is more important to him than anything else,' the former Ohio State star told cleveland.com in a phone interview. 'It's always been very, very important to him. It's well-documented that it's been primary since early college. Maybe it even goes back to early high school.'
"Carter stressed that if Gordon can overcome his issues and stay healthy, he could be one of the best to ever play the game.
"'He's really one of the few receivers that's playing in the game now that with a sustained long and healthy career you can say he's got the potential to wear a gold jacket,' said Carter. 'He's pretty special.'
"Carter, who turned his life and career around in Minnesota after (Philadelphia) Eagles coach Buddy Ryan cut him in 1990, helps plenty of players in the NFL struggling with substance abuse, but only the ones who are open to it.
"'If the building is on fire and the person decides to stay in there, I don't run in there and get him out,' Carter said. 'If you see him breaking the glass, if you see them struggling and trying to get out -- that's my analogy of how I help out the guys in the league and the kids that really, really need help.'
"He indicated that Gordon, who's facing an indefinite suspension from the NFL for what's believed to be at least his third violation of the NFL's substance (abuse policy), might not be ready to quit yet.
"On May 25th, Gordon was ticketed for speeding, and the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Deputy detected the smell of marijuana in the car, a source told cleveland.com. One of Gordon's three passengers was cited for marijuana possession.
"'I'd much rather help an undrafted free agent that has a problem and he says I've got a problem and he wants some help, then help a guy who's first-team All-Pro (and hasn't reached out),' said Carter."
Cabot's colleague, Glenn Moore, pondered on whether the Browns should retain Gordon, citing an interview with Cleveland general manager Ray Farmer on 92.3 The Fan last week.
"So what should the Browns do with the troubled All-Pro receiver?
"Gordon has the talent to be one of the best receivers in the NFL and has given the Browns some positive commentary from national pundits for his play on the field. But is his off-the-field troubles worth the headache?
"Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer has his view on a superstar wide receiver leading a team. Farmer also told radio partner 92.3 The Fan last week that a superstar receiver is not essential for a Super Bowl victory.
"'I would say 'how important are those guys?' Farmer said. 'Name the last big-time receiver to win a Super Bowl. Name the last mega-guy. (Gordon) matters to me because I like the guy and I think he's a really good player, but at the end of the day, when you look at the teams that have these mega-receivers, name the last guy that won a Super Bowl?'
"'There are none. The last guy that really helped his team get there was T.O. (Terrell Owens).'"
The 23-year-old Gordon is entering his third NFL season. He has caught 137 passes for 2,451 yards and 14 touchdowns, per ESPN stats.
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