The Cleveland Browns don't plan to cut ties with troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon, according to coach Mike Pettine.
Pettine told the Akron Beacon-Journal that Gordon remains in the Browns' plans despite him facing a potential season-long suspension for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy. Pettine also said they expect the appeal hearing either this week or next week.
Regardless of outcome, Pettine said the Browns are sticking with Gordon.
“No, we’re firm," Pettine said. "We want to find that middle ground. Josh is a Cleveland Brown. We want to do what’s best for him. We have a player that potentially needs help. Whether it’s him or whether it’s anybody else that wears the uniform, if we can help, we’ll help. We want to make our decisions always, what’s best for the player, and you try to marry it with what’s best for the team.
"So that’s why I don’t think that cutting him, while it may have worked for some other people, I don’t know if that’s necessarily the best option here. It might be the worst option for both -- for us and for him. We’re going to wait and see what happens and then act accordingly.”
Pettine also said he doesn't plan to name a starting quarterback, rookie Johnny Manziel or veteran Brian Hoyer, prior to the third preseason game.
Pettine said he doesn't believe that Manziel's hard-partying ways will be a factor in the decision on whom to start.
"I don’t think so," Pettine said. "We can only really base our decisions on what happens on the field. But when you look at the big picture, from the leadership part of it, I don’t see how it couldn’t factor in. Manziel, I know it’s well documented. But I also know that during the season I’ll be shocked if that trend continues.
"From his week-to-week preparation, once we get going, I think he’ll be all -- and he and I have talked -- it’s time for business, it’s all football. I think if you followed around a lot of NFL quarterbacks in their offseason, there would’ve been some similar pictures you could’ve taken. It’s just a lot of them are maybe a little more discreet about what they’re doing.”
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun
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