Receiver Josh Gordon was suspended without pay for the first two games next season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, the second year in a row that the Cleveland Browns will be missing a key player because of a drug-related punishment.
Gordon also was fined two additional game checks on Friday. He'll miss games against the Dolphins and defending Super Bowl-champion Ravens, and is eligible to return for a game against the Vikings.
Gordon said in a statement that he used cough medicine containing codeine -- a banned substance -- while recovering from strep throat in February. The league could have given him a four-game suspension.
"The policy terms are strict about unintentional ingestion, but the NFL has not imposed the maximum punishment in light of the facts of my case," Gordon said. "Therefore, I have chosen to be immediately accountable for the situation. I sincerely apologize for the impact on my team, coaches, and Browns fans."
It's the second year in a row that the Browns have a key player suspended early in the season. Cornerback Joe Haden was suspended four games last season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances. Haden acknowledged taking the stimulant Adderall. The Browns lost their four games without him.
Gordon caught 50 passes as a rookie last season, developing into the Browns' best deep threat. He led the team with 805 yards receiving and five touchdowns.
The Browns selected him in the second round of the supplemental draft, taking a chance on a player who had major problems at Baylor. He was dismissed from the Bears after getting suspended twice for using marijuana. He transferred to Utah but didn't play there after failing another drug test.
Gordon will be able to practice with the team and play in the preseason games.
"Obviously, we are all disappointed in this news," coach Rob Chudzinski said. "In our short time with Josh, he has done everything that we've asked him to do and he has exhibited substantial improvement.
"We believe that he will continue to work diligently through training camp and the preseason. I am confident that others will step up in his absence."
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
BEREA, Ohio — Davone Bess is the oldest wide receiver on the Cleveland Browns, but that’s strictly a relative term.
Bess, 27, is squarely in the prime of his
Emerging wideouts Greg Little and Josh Gordon are Cleveland’s future at the position, but Bess might be its most important asset. The sixth-year pro was acquired from the Miami Dolphins in an April 26 trade, then promptly signed a three-year contract extension.
“My job is to help the Cleveland Browns
“You can tell that they’re hungry, so I’m just trying to show them the way I approach the game and answer any questions they have for me.”
Little was a second-round pick two years ago, while Gordon, a 2012 supplemental draft choice, cost the Browns their second-round pick this spring. At 6-foot-2 and 6-3, respectively, their potential is high, but their maturity remains a concern.
The latter issue again came to the forefront Wednesday, when Gordon used his Twitter account to brag that he was “undefeated” drag racing on nearby Interstate 71. The tweet was deleted within hours.
“Davone goes about his business the right way and I think it’s rubbing off on the entire locker room,” quarterback Brandon Weeden said. “He brings consistency to the field and he doesn’t make many mistakes. He also knows how to prepare, so you want to follow his example as a player.”
The 5-10, 195-pound Bess has lined up in the slot since arriving in Cleveland, which was his main role throughout his five seasons in Miami. He made 321 receptions and scored 12 touchdowns in 77 games with the Dolphins, topped by a 79-catch season in 2010.
During the same timeframe, the only Browns wide receiver with more than 55 grabs in a season was Little, who had 61 as a rookie. In 2012, Little made a team-high 53 receptions and Gordon had 50.
“You grow up fast being thrown into the fire like I did, but it made me a better player, and it will help both of those guys, too,” said Bess, who played in his first NFL game at age 22. “But it is a bit weird being the old man in the group because I remember coming into the league so young. Now, it’s been six years. Time flies.”
Former Bills receiver David Nelson likely will join Bess in the slot once he recovers from reconstructive right knee surgery, along with speedster Travis Benjamin. Nelson is one year younger than Bess, but has played two fewer seasons in the league.
All five receivers figure to see significant snaps in the up-tempo offense being installed by new Browns coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner.
“With the weapons that we have, and Norv’s track record for scoring points and gaining yards, the sky is the limit,” said Bess, who has posted 130 third-down receptions over the last five seasons, ranking second in the NFL. “I’ve felt that way from the first time I met Norv and Chud because they’re great guys and you can understand their passion for the game.
“We know they’re going to do their part to put us in a position to do great things. As players, we just have to show up and do ours.
“I really believe that.”
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson will not participate in any minicamp practices this week because of a lower right leg strain
. Coach Rob Chudzinski said the second-year pro is being held out of the three-day session "strictly as a precaution,'' but should be ready for the start of training camp July 26.
Richardson rushed for a team-high 950 yards and scored 12 touchdowns last season. "We don't want his muscle strain to get any worse, so we're going to rest him now and give him a full summer to prepare,'' Chudzinski said Tuesday following the first minicamp workout.
"He could have went out, if necessary, and practiced these next few days, but we just didn't see any sense in it. "My expectation is he'll be out there, ready to go, for us on the first day of training camp.'' Richardson, the third overall draft pick in 2012 out of Alabama, sat out Cleveland's final set of organized team activities last week with the injury.
At the time, he vowed, "Injury-prone is not going to be me.'' The Browns did not permit Richardson to speak with the media following practice, but said he would address the subject Wednesday.
The 5-foot-9, 230-pound back walked off the field without a limp and did not acknowledge the reporters following him. Chudzinski, though, did his best to downplay the severity of Richardson's injury, which occurred in early May while running at Cleveland's team headquarters. "I don't know the medical (risks going forward), but he's got a strain right now,'' the first-year coach said. "I'm not concerned about anything else at this stage.
"My only concern, really, is Trent needing to stay into it mentally while he's out. So far, he's done a great job taking mental reps and getting into game shape.'' While his teammates ran position drills and 11-on-11 sets, Richardson alternated between riding the bike, lifting kettle bells and medicine balls, and working with exercise ropes.
Montario Hardesty and Chris Ogbonnaya lined up together in the backfield on Cleveland's first-team offense, while Brandon Jackson and Dion Lewis worked with the lower units. "This is a good opportunity for other guys to get extra reps right now,'' Chudzinski said. "On April 1, I said this was a fresh start for everyone. I'm really pleased with the effort and energy I've seen from all of them so far.''
The 6-foot, 225-pound Hardesty served as Richardson's backup in 2012, rushing for a career-high 271 yards and one touchdown. His 4.2-yard average per carry led the Browns, and was significantly higher than Richardson (3.6). Hardesty was chosen by Cleveland in the second round of the 2010 draft, but didn't make his NFL debut until the next season after undergoing his second reconstructive knee surgery. "Montario has done a great job in the weight room, putting muscle on,'' Chudzinski said.
"He's got natural instincts as a runner that you can't teach. I've also been impressed with the way he's caught the ball. I don't think he's dropped one pass yet this offseason.'' Ogbonnaya has been the Browns' third-down back for two seasons, catching 24 passes for 187 yards in 2012. The fifth-year pro - also listed at 6-0 and 225 - previously played with the Rams and Texans
. In a new twist at minicamp, Ogbonnaya saw some snaps at fullback and blocked for Hardesty on first and second downs. "We're moving Oby around a little bit because we know he's going to do the right things,'' said Chudzinski, whose offensive coordinator is longtime NFL coach Norv Turner. "He's the kind of guy who is dependable and accountable, and a real asset to any team. "Even though Trent will be back with the (first unit) when he comes back, we really like Montario and Oby, and are glad to have them as part of the group.'' ---
NOTES: WR Jordan Norwood (hamstring) and WR David Nelson (reconstructive right knee surgery) did not practice. Nelson was injured during Buffalo's season opener last fall, but expects to be medically cleared in time for training camp. ... LBs Paul Kruger and Jabaal Sheard worked with the first-team defense on the outside. Kruger was the franchise's most prominent free-agent signing, joining the team after four seasons with the Super Bowl-champion Ravens. ... Cleveland's first-round draft pick, LB Barkevious Mingo, was on the right side of the second unit. ... Third-year CB Buster Skrine worked opposite top CB Joe Haden. ... G John Greco took snaps with the first-team offense on the left, while G Shaun Lauvao was on the right. ... CB Vernon Kearney, an undrafted rookie from Lane College, is attending camp on a tryout basis.
BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Browns running back Trent Richardson isn't concerned about his latest injury and doesn't believe he's injury prone. Richardson did not practice again Thursday because of a strained muscle in his lower right leg that could sideline him for an extended period.
As his teammates went through the final session of organized team activities under first-year coach Rob Chudzinski, Richardson worked on his conditioning off to the side. It wasn't his choice. "It ain't no biggie,'' said Richardson, who sustained the injury recently while running during practice.
"It ain't nothing to worry about. I could be out there, but they want to be cautious about it to make sure I'm healthy and be right for camp.'' Richardson also missed last week's workouts and Chudzinski said there's a chance the second-year back could miss next month's minicamp. Richardson said the only pain he feels is not being on the field. With quotes "It's terrible,'' he said.
"It's hard to watch. I tell coach every day I can put my helmet on and we laugh about it. But I know he means well.'' The injury doesn't appear to be serious, but Richardson's history of injuries has some wondering if he can stay healthy.
As a rookie, Richardson missed the exhibition season while recovering from knee surgery and played most of the year despite having two broken ribs. The first-round draft pick still managed to rush for 950 yards with 11 touchdowns.
Richardson is confident he will be able to stay on the field this season. "It's not going to be like last year, being hurt and injured,'' he said. "Injury prone is not going to be me. I just can't wait to get back out and running.
(Cleveland) - Hall of Famer Jim Brown has rejoined the Cleveland Browns as special advisor, working with fans & the Community.
In This role, Brown will perform in a variety of off-field capacities with the club and in the community.
The former star running back was with the Browns from 1957 until his sudden retirement in 1965.
Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam introduced Brown during a news conference Wednesday at FirstEnergy Stadium. Haslam said, "It's my pleasure to welcome back the greatest Brown of all."
(Photos by Colleen O'Neill/WTAM 1100)
Haslam says having Jim Brown with the team and the Cleveland community is "tremendously important." Haslam says that Brown is "still the man" in Cleveland and carries a lot of respect among current NFL players.
“Jim Brown is one of the most iconic figures, not just in Cleveland, but the entire NFL,” said Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam. “His playing career still stands as one of the most remarkable in league annals, and his work in the community since his retirement, especially with our youth, has been just as impressive. He will be a tremendous asset to our organization and we are thrilled that he will be representing the Browns in many different capacities.”
Brown says he's here to help his old team win games.
“I am excited to be back and a part of a franchise that will always be very close to my heart,” Brown said. “I want to thank Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner for giving me this chance to return to the organization and the great city of Cleveland, whose fans are the best in the NFL and who always have supported me. I look forward to getting started and once again make difference, not just with the franchise but in the Northeast Ohio community.”
Brown previously served as an Executive Advisor with the team, a position he held through 2010.. His role was then eliminated by former team president Mike Holmgren. Brown had been estranged from the team for a few years, but returned to play in an alumni golf outing last summer and met with Haslam, who had just bought the team from Randy Lerner.
Brown spoke then about his desire to work again with the team.
He is the team's career rushing leader with 12,312 yards and 106 touchdowns. Brown’s number 32 was retired by the club and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
Brown is very active with his Amer-I-Can Program, which works in schools, prisons and communities across the country.
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(Copyright © 2013 by Clear Channel, all rights reserved.)
(Cleveland) – Welcome back #32!
The Cleveland Browns will make a special announcement Wednesday morning regarding Jim Brown re-joining the organization in an official capacity.
Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam and Brown will be on hand to make the announcement.
The Hall of Fame running back, who had a rift with his former team for several years, took part in alumni events last fall.
In a lengthy chat with Newsradio WTAM 1100's Andre Knott and other reporters, Brown said he wanted to help the Browns return to their winning ways.
The 76-year-old Brown helped induct former players Ernie Green and Clarence Scott into their legends club that weekend.
It was Brown's first time at FirstEnergy Stadium in more than two years. He has been at odds with the club since then team president Mike Holmgren removed him from his role as an adviser to former owner Randy Lerner. Holmgren offered Brown a reduced role with the team, but he declined.
Brown was so hurt by Holmgren's decision to change his position with the team that he boycotted a ceremony in 2010, when the Browns unveiled a ring of honor inside their stadium. Brown's absence overshadowed and diminished the event, and his estranged relationship with the Browns has been a sore point for all parties involved.
Always outspoken, Brown also made headlines early last year when he criticized the Browns for drafting running back Trent Richardson in the first round. Brown described Richardson as "ordinary," and the man who helped revolutionize the running back position said he "didn't see anything outstanding" about the rookie back.
Richardson said Brown's comments helped motivated him.
Brown rushed for 12,312 yards in nine seasons with the Browns before he unexpectedly retired to pursue an acting career.
He is the franchise's career leader in rushing yards, attempts and touchdowns. Brown's No. 32 was retired by the Browns.
Jim Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
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(Copyright © 2013 by Clear Channel, all rights reserved.)
The Cleveland Browns today signed offensive lineman Garrett Gilkey to a four-year contract, the team announced.
Selected in the seventh round (227th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft, Gilkey appeared in 37 games with 34 starts at Chadron State University (2009-12), where he served as the Eagles’ left tackle. He received first team All-America honors from d2football.com and was one of only three Division II players invited to the 2013 Senior Bowl.
Born July 7, 1990, the 6-6, 320-pound Gilkey is a native of Sandwich, Illinois and attended Sandwich High School as a freshman and sophomore before transferring to Aurora Christian High School for his final two years of high school.
BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden is heading home to help his cherished Oklahoma heal. Weeden is returning to his home state this weekend to assist in any way he can in the aftermath of the deadly tornado that tore through Moore, Okla., killing 24 people and destroying thousands of homes in the Oklahoma City suburb earlier this week.
Weeden has been in contact with Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and he plans to be there this weekend to help. "I'll do anything, whether it's getting in the rubble and doing whatever, it doesn't matter,'' said Weeden, who is from Edmond.
"I'll be there to help.'' Weeden's wife, Melanie, has family who in Moore. They were not injured by the monstrous twister, but sustained damage to their homes. "It actually went right through my wife's hometown,'' Weeden said following Thursday's practice.
"Fourth Street, the path they keep talking about, my mother-in-law lives on Main, which is four blocks north of it, and my brother-in-law lives two blocks south of it. It went right over the top of them. Very, very fortunate to have no injuries and everybody's safe.''
Weeden, who starred at Oklahoma State, said there were some frantic moments for he and his wife when they couldn't contact family as the tornado bore down on Moore. "There's a park, literally there's two blocks between my brother-in-law and my mother-in-law,'' he said.
"They said, `If you're at that park, get out of the way.' It was destroyed. Once we heard it was destroyed, obviously there's no cellphone service. We couldn't get hold of them for about an hour. So my wife's panicked and we're panicked. It was tough being so far away. Weeden said family members were able to take cover in time.
"My brother-in-law got in the car and drove away from it,'' he said. "My mother-in-law works in the administration building for Moore Public Schools, so she was in a basement, fortunately. Very, very blessed, we got lucky. But being up here, seeing my wife, she was rattled and it was very tough.''
Browns wide receiver Josh Cooper, too, was affected by the tornado. His father, Mike, works as a construction manager in Moore and was forced into an underground shelter. Cooper, who is from Mustang, Okla., said he felt helpless as he watched TV coverage of the tornado. "It was really tough,'' he said.
"My heart was hurtin' pretty good that day. I was checking in with my family and friends and hoping they were safe.'' Cooper said no one he knew was seriously injured. He's certain Oklahomans will recover. "Everybody is kind of helping everybody,'' he said. "We'll be fine. We get through things like this all the time. Oklahoma strong, you know?''
The Cleveland Browns today re-signed running back Brandon Jackson to a one-year contract, the club announced. The team also signed their 2013 sixth-round draft pick, defensive back Jamoris Slaughter to a four-year contract. In addition, the club signed a pair of undrafted free agents, wide receiver Michael Edwards and defensive back Kenronte Walker.
The Browns also waived defensive back Eric Hagg, linebacker Ryan Rau and running back Robbie Rouse.
Originally drafted by Green Bay in the second round (63rd overall) of the 2007 NFL draft, Jackson has seen action in 54 games with 16 starts, and has rushed for 1,383 yards on 355 carries with seven touchdowns. He has also caught 112 passes for 864 yards and two touchdowns.
In 2010, Jackson opened 13 contests and set career highs in nearly every category, including rushing attempts (190), rushing yards (703), rushing touchdowns (3), receptions (43) and receiving yards (844) as the Packers captured Super Bowl XLI. He was also one of the best running backs in pass protection that season as his combined number of sacks and quarterback hits allowed was one out of 100 snaps in which he was pass blocking.
That figure tied for fifth among all running backs with at least 75 pass blocking snaps. Jackson signed with the Browns as an unrestricted free agent from Green Bay in 2011, but missed the entire 2011 campaign with a toe injury. During the 2012 season, Jackson appeared in two games and rushed for 54 yards on eight carries and caught two passes for 20 yards.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, the 5-10, 216-pound Jackson attended Horn Lake (Miss.) High School and was a three-year letterman at the University of Nebraska (2004-06).
Selected in the sixth round (175th overall), Slaughter appeared in 39 games with 19 starts at the University of Notre Dame (2009-12). He totaled 98 career tackles, two interceptions, seven passes defensed, two sacks and one fumble recovery. Slaughter started the first three games as a senior before an Achilles injury ended his season. He saw action in all 13 games with 10 starts at safety as a junior and totaled 45 tackles, one interception, two passes defensed, two sacks and a forced fumble.
Born December 22, 1989, the 6-0, 190-pound Slaughter is a native of Stone Mountain, Georgia and attended Tucker High School. Edwards was initially signed by the Browns on April 30, 2013, and was waived on May 13 after participating in the team’s rookie minicamp. He was a two-year starter at the University of Texas-El Paso (2011-12) after transferring from Mt. San Antonio College (2010) in Walnut, California. He recorded 101 career receptions for 1,477 yards and 11 touchdowns in two seasons at UTEP.
Born December 14, 1989, the 5-11, 200-pound Edwards is a native of Glendora, California, where he attended Glendora High School. A two-year letterman at safety at the University of Missouri (2011-12),
Walker appeared in 25 games, recording 115 tackles, one sack, one interception, one forced fumble, one pass defensed and three defensive fumble recoveries. Walker redshirted the 2010 season after transferring from City College of San Francisco, where he notched 36 tackles, five pass breakups, two sacks and one interception in two seasons (2008-09).
Born July 28, 1990, the 6-0, 210-pound Walker is a native of Fayetteville, N.C., where he attended Westover High School.