CLEVELAND (AP) Browns executive Sashi Brown has been in touch with suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon since he entered rehab, but does not know if the troubled former Pro Bowler will apply to the NFL for reinstatement.
Gordon's business manager, Michael Johnson, told ESPN that the 25-year-old will appeal to Commissioner Roger Goodell to allow him back in the league.
League spokesman Brian McCarthy declined comment on Gordon's situation.
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Gordon hasn't appeared in a regular-season game since 2014. The 25-year-old was days away from returning to Cleveland's roster last season but voluntarily entered a rehabilitation facility in September, saying he wanted to ''gain full control of my life and continue on a path to reach my full potential as a person.
He completed a 30-day stay at a facility for an unspecified condition.
Speaking at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, Brown, the team's vice president of football operations, said it's his understanding that Gordon can reapply in March. Brown said the team checked in on occasion with Josh, ''just personally because we care for the young man.''
Brown said it's too early to speculate on Gordon's future with the Browns or any other team.
When Gordon entered rehab, coach Hue Jackson indicated the team had moved on from him.
''What we need to do is just close that chapter right now,'' Jackson said on Sept. 29. ''He's doing what he needs to do, and we need to do what we need to do, which is continue to move forward.''
However, the Browns still own Gordon's rights and it's possible they could give him another chance or trade him.
''We really haven't sat down to talk about what it would be like if he gets back in, or even taking the time to understand exactly what that would look like,'' Brown said. ''I think that's a pretty complicated process at this point given, kind of, his history. So it would be largely speculative at best and we've got a lot of guys to focus our attention on.''
With a history of substance abuse problems, Gordon has been suspended for 43 of his last 48 games.
Gordon displayed potential during his time with Cleveland, leading the league with 1,646 yards receiving and nine touchdowns in 2013.
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