Suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon says he is “staying in the right frame of mind” and training in the hopes he can play again in the NFL.
Appearing on The Adam Schefter Podcast, Gordon said he is currently training at Ford Sports Performance in Bellevue, Washington, to stay ready if a team decides to sign him. Asked if he was “clean,” Gordon answered, “yes, sir.”
“There’s no quit in me, at least I’m thankful for that, and knowing how to get back on track has been my strong suit. What has been deemed once my weakness I can credit for helping me move forward in life,” he said.
Gordon, who turns 30 next month, said he wants to be involved in football some way, even if that means getting into coaching.
“I know I have a lot to offer, a lot of knowledge about the game and a lot of experience. I’m not going to tarnish that or throw that away and disrespect myself,” he said.
Gordon said he has a good support system with his family and good friends, including Johnny Manziel, who give him “motivation” and show him “how important these small details in life are.”
He said that being in the NFL’s substance abuse program, “perfection is the key to kinda maintaining a career, and of course we know nobody’s perfect. But what I’m striving for is progress and being as close to perfect as I can be so I can be able to play.”
After his conditional reinstatement to the NFL was rescinded in January, Gordon joined the Zappers of the Fan Controlled Football league last month to play with former Cleveland Browns teammate Manziel. His return to football ended when the Zappers were eliminated in the playoffs.
The NFL suspended Gordon indefinitely in December 2019 for violations of its policies on substance abuse and performance-enhancing substances. That was Gordon’s sixth suspension since the 2013 season and his fifth for some form of substance abuse, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Gordon was conditionally reinstated by the NFL in December and was set to practice with the Seattle Seahawks in the final two weeks of the regular season before his reinstatement was rescinded.
“I had to work through and work past a lot of guilt, a lot of shame. You know, inner turmoil with myself. My family was dealing with it as well. So I had to deal with what was going on on multiple fronts. I was battling … you know … I think life problems as well as I think just workplace environment problems and just saying: How can I coexist? Everybody else seems to be doing it so effortlessly, what makes me different? I think that’s where that self-doubt comes in. And it can, as you’ve seen with my career, it can bring you to some low points,” he said.
Asked what he would like to tell teams that were listening to the podcast, Gordon said: “Anybody can be really good at the game, but you don’t necessarily want to be seen as an a–hole, pardon my language, you know, off the field. So for me I try to keep it real so what you see and what you hear is as honest as it gets. Not to say I’m the most honest person, but I learned at a certain point in time I kinda gotta cut out a lotta B.S. in my life. So you’re getting a guy that’s focused, at this age, this late in my career, most importantly you’re getting a great wide receiver.”
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