Indianapolis, IN, United States (4E Sports) – Indianapolis Colts linebacker and former Cleveland Browns team captain D’Qwell Jackson is willing to reach out to troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon and help him straighten his life and playing career.
“He needs help, he really does,” said Jackson, who played alongside Gordon for two seasons with the Browns. “He needs people to extend themselves and probably have to do more than they wanted to do. But if [the Browns] care anything about the kid, they have to do it.”
As a nine-year veteran, Jackson took it upon himself to counsel Gordon about focusing on football and doing the right things off the field.
Jackson was the first one to offer support for Gordon after he was arrested on July 5 for suspected DWI in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Jackson said he plans to reach out to Gordon again soon. But because Jackson and Gordon are no longer teammates and do not communicate regularly, Jackson said he’s not sure Gordon would take his assistance.
Jackson thinks it will be up to current Browns teammates and those closer to Gordon to provide proper guidance in a time of need.
“At this point, calling the cellphone is not going to work,” Jackson said. “You have to fly out to him. You have to fly out to wherever he is, take him to dinner and pick his brain to see what’s important to him.”
The 23-year-old Gordon led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards last season. But this latest arrest now puts his playing career in jeopardy.
“Josh Gordon was a big piece of the Browns’ future; it’s just unfortunate he didn’t view it that way,” Jackson said. “He is so valuable. He doesn’t understand how valuable he is to an organization. He has no clue.”
Sources said two other people who have worked closely with Gordon said he has issues with substance abuse dating back to high school and have urged him to seek professional assistance.
Sources added that the Browns share some of the blame simply because they haven’t helped to create a support system for Gordon despite knowing of the issues when they drafted him.