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Browns WR Gordon will be exclusive-rights free agent

By The Sports Xchange
Browns WR Gordon will be exclusive-rights free agent
Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon drives for extra yardage in a game against the Atlanta Falcons in 2014. File photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

The status of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been clarified by the NFL Players Association in its communication with Pro Football Talk.

Rather than a restricted free agent, Gordon will be an exclusive-rights free agent.

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Pro Football Report said the NFLPA initially stated on Wednesday that Gordon will be a restricted free agent. That would be because he completed his rookie contract, but has not completed four years of service under the NFL's labor deal.

However, Gordon played in only five games during the 2017 season, so he did not play in enough games to have a third accrued season toward free agency. As a result, the NFLPA clarified its statement to say Gordon becomes an exclusive-rights free agent instead of a restricted free agent.

As an exclusive-rights free agent, Gordon has few options. The Browns can offer him the second-year minimum salary for a player with two years of service. Gordon's only choice would be to sign with the Browns or not play at all.

In 2013, Gordon led the league with 1,646 receiving yards in only 14 games.

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But Gordon didn't play in 2015 or 2016 due to suspensions under the league's substance-abuse policy. He was reinstated in 2017 and played five games for the Browns, all as a starter, and had 18 receptions for 335 yards and one touchdown.

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