While Josh Gordon’s away Matt Murray Jersey
, the Browns may launch Plan B with their wide receivers.
Dez Bryant is on their radar.
As they await clarity on Gordon’s cloudy situation, Cleveland general manager John Dorsey said Wednesday the team has discussed signing Bryant, the former Dallas star released by the Cowboys in April.
Gordon is missing the start of training camp as part of his treatment to battle drug and alcohol addictions, and the team does not known when – or if – the 27-year-old will be back.
Dorsey said he ”absolutely” expects Gordon to return in 2018.
”I’m going to respect Josh’s privacy and I will continue to say that and let him do what he has to do moving forward,” Dorsey said. ”Then, when he comes back, we’ll embrace him, that’s how we’re going to do it.”
In the meantime, the Browns have interest in Bryant, a three-time Pro Bowler and one of the game’s top playmakers since 2010.
”He’s a very talented player,” Dorsey said. ”Have we had discussions about Dez Bryant? Yeah, that’s natural. You’re going to have discussions like that. Now, we’ll see what comes to fruition in the next couple days, but we’ve talked about it. You have to talk about these things.”
Especially given Gordon’s track record.
Despite his numerous missteps, the Browns are standing by the talented receiver. They believe Gordon has turned his life around and are counting on the former Pro Bowler Tuukka Rask Jersey
, who has played just 10 games since 2013 due to numerous NFL drug violations, to help this season.
Dorsey doesn’t know when Gordon will return, and the club changed his roster designation from the non-football illness list to ”did not report” so it would have roster flexibility.
”Josh is 100 percent committed to the Cleveland Browns,” Dorsey said. ”The Cleveland Browns are 100 percent committed to him. He’s had a great offseason. He’s had great training. So you know what, let’s just see what happens here. Let’s see what happens. All I care about is let’s respect his privacy. Let’s see him move forward.”
An NFL spokesman said earlier this week that Gordon has not been suspended again, and that there is no timetable on his return.
However, both Dorsey and coach Hue Jackson refused to answer whether they’ve received assurances from the league that Gordon is not facing further discipline.
On the eve of his third training camp, Jackson, who has not spoken with Gordon, wanted the focus on his available players.
”Obviously we’d like to have all of our players here. But at the same time we know things do come up,” he said. ”And I think as a staff we prepared for anything and everything. I think in my going on three years here I’ve seen it all. So I’m not surprised by anything that can happen. I think if we make it more than what it is.
”You’re talking about a young man that’s doing everything he can to put himself in the best position to be better in his life. And I think that’s great for Josh. At the same time we have a football team to get ready, and that’s what we’re going to do. All we can really worry about are the guys that are here and coach the guys that are here and get them better – -and when Josh is ready to return he’ll return.”
With Gordon’s status unclear, Dorsey said the team is considering Bryant, who is looking for a fresh start.
The 29-year-old developed into one of the league’s most physical receivers during eight seasons with Dallas. He had three seasons of more than 1,200 yards receiving and led the NFL with 16 touchdowns in 2014.
However Devan Dubnyk Jersey
, he came up short of living up to the five-year, $70 million contract he signed four years ago. Bryant battled an assortment of injuries before the Cowboys let him go to gain salary-cap space.
Bryant has had some off-field issues, though nothing to Gordon’s level, and his fiery temperament led to some well-publicized sideline rants. But with Cleveland’s receiving corps reduced by Gordon’s absence and a season-ending neck injury to Ricardo Louis, the Browns may be willing to overlook any baggage.
”I look at Dez as a very competitive, passionate person,” said Dorsey, who has known Bryant for years. ”That’s how I look at a Dez Bryant.”
NOTES: Rookie CB Denzel Ward signed his contract and reported in time for Thursday’s first practice. Ward was the last unsigned player in Cleveland’s rookie class. Top pick Baker Mayfield signed his $32 million deal Tuesday night. … Dorsey and Jackson reiterated they will not rush Mayfield and that Tyrod Taylor is the club’s starting quarterback.
A look at where things stand in the NBA playoff picture, with five days remaining in the regular season:
The top two seeds are locked up: Toronto is No. 1 going into the Eastern Conference playoffs for the first time in franchise history, and Boston will open the playoffs as the No. 2 seed.
Everything else is unclear.
Philadelphia (49-30) now leads in the race for the No. 3 spot, passing Cleveland (49-31) by beating the Cavaliers 132-130 on Friday night. The 76ers, who haven’t been a top-three seed in the East since their run to the NBA Finals in 2001, would finish third if they end the season with wins against Dallas, Atlanta and Milwaukee.
The Cavaliers have two games left, both against New York. So if Philly slips even once Melker Karlsson Jersey
, Cleveland could return to No. 3 by sweeping the Knicks.
Indiana (47-33) still has a chance at No. 3; to get there, the Pacers have to win out and have both the Cavaliers and 76ers lose out. That seems unlikely, and Indiana is probably heading for the No. 5 spot.
Miami, even after a bad loss in New York, controls its fate in the race for No. 6. Milwaukee is No. 7 for now, and Washington – a loser of four straight, including a head-scratcher against Atlanta on Friday – has slipped to No. 8.
Five days left, five spots left to clinch, and six seeds left to decide.
A frantic finish is coming to the West.
Portland controls the race for the No. 3 seed, and Utah knows that if it wins out the worst it can finish is No. 4 – which is astounding, considering it got off to a 19-28 start and was 10 games out of the fourth spot.
New Orleans (45-34) beat Phoenix to jump two spots to No. 5, and Minnesota (45-35) topped the Los Angeles Lakers to remain a half-game ahead of Denver for No. 8. Those two results mean four teams have exactly 45 wins going into Saturday, with Denver currently at 44 wins and the Los Angeles Clippers still able to get to 45 if they win out.
Some clarity might … finally … come to the West.
– Denver at L.A. Clippers: The Clippers have to win out, or the season ends. Denver must try to match that desperation.
– Milwaukee at New York: Milwaukee is 10-12 since the All-Star break. Some momentum might help the playoff cause.
– Oklahoma City at Houston: Means nothing to Rockets. Means plenty to Thunder, who still could get home-court.
– New Orleans at Golden State: The Warriors embarrassed themselves at Indiana on Thursday. Will this be more of the same?
– Portland at San Antonio: The Spurs are trying for a 21st consecutive playoff spot Authentic Pekka Rinne Jersey Kids
, and the Blazers are trying to lock up the No. 3 seed.
– Brooklyn at Chicago has no playoff implication.
First-round matchups if the season ended Friday …
East: 1-Toronto vs. 8-Washington, 2-Boston vs. 7-Milwaukee, 3-Philadelphia vs. 6-Miami, 4-Cleveland vs. 5-Indiana.
West: 1-Houston vs. 8-Minnesota, 2-Golden State vs. 7-Oklahoma City, 3-Portland vs. 6-San Antonio, 4-Utah vs. 5-New Orleans.
NOTE OF THE DAY
Philadelphia has a chance to set an NBA record – the longest winning streak to end a regular season.
The 76ers have won 13 straight and have three games left. Win them all, and they would top the 15-game season-ending stretch by the Rochester Royals in 1949-50.
The last double-digit streak to end a season was posted by San Antonio in 2011-12, when the Spurs won their final 10 games. Philly coach Brett Brown was an assistant under Gregg Popovich on that Spurs team.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
”You’ve got to go through whoever it is anyway.” – Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue, asked about the Eastern Conference seeding jumble.
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