Suspended former NFL wide receiver Josh Gordon said he is "clean" and still working toward a return after the league rescinded his conditional reinstatement in January.
"There's no quit in me, at least I'm thankful for that, and knowing how to get back on track has been my strong suit," Gordon said in an episode of the Adam Schefter Podcast on ESPN that published Tuesday. "What has been deemed once my weakness I can credit for helping me move forward in life."
Gordon, 29, told ESPN he was "staying in the right frame of mind" and was training in Bellevue, Washington with the hopes that an NFL team would sign him.
Gordon added that his desire to stay close to football would include coaching, if playing wasn't an option.
"I know I have a lot to offer, a lot of knowledge about the game and a lot of experience," Gordon told ESPN. "I'm not going to tarnish that or throw that away and disrespect myself."
Josh Gordon caught a Hail Mary as time expired in his FCF debut. (Photo: Brian Blanco, AP)
Gordon is currently a restricted free agent. The Seahawks signed him last September, a move that came while he was still indefinitely suspended. The ban was lifted in December, after Commissioner Rodger Goodell conditionally reinstated Gordon. Just days later, Gordon was again put under suspension after not meeting some of the terms outlined in his conditional reinstatement.
Gordon then joined friend and former Cleveland Browns teammate Johnny Manziel this spring in the upstart Fan Controlled Football (FCF) league as a member of the Zappers.
Gordon even caught a game-winning Hail Mary in his FCF debut, but the comeback ended when the Zappers were eliminated in the FCF playoffs.
"I had to work through and work past a lot of guilt, a lot of shame," Gordon told ESPN. "You know, inner turmoil with myself. My family was dealing with it as well. So I had to deal with what was going on on multiple fronts. I was battling life problems as well as I think just workplace environment problems and just saying: How can I coexist? Everybody else seems to be doing it so effortlessly, what makes me different? I think that's where that self-doubt comes in. And it can, as you've seen with my career, it can bring you to some low points."
This marks the eighth time overall that Gordon has been suspended by either his team or the NFL, including six times since 2013.
Gordon led the NFL in receiving yards in 2013 with 1,646, despite playing in 14 games.
Still, despite his history with substance abuse, Gordon is hopeful that a team will look to add him to their roster.
"Anybody can be really good at the game, but you don't necessarily want to be seen as an (expletive), pardon my language, off the field," Gordon said. "So for me I try to keep it real so what you see and what you hear is as honest as it gets. Not to say I'm the most honest person, but I learned at a certain point in time I kind of got to cut out a lotta B.S. in my life.
"So you're getting a guy that's focused, at this age, this late in my career, most importantly you're getting a great wide receiver."
Contributing: Associated Press
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