Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is one misstep away from facing a lengthy suspension from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, but Gordon may now benefit from the presence of a veteran teammate on in the Browns' receiving corps.
The Browns signed Nate Burleson during the free agency period in hopes of finding the No. 2 wide receiver that the team has lacked, but they could also be benefiting from some veteran leadership that will help Gordon mature and grow as a professional.
Burleson, who had spent the last four seasons with the Lions working with superstar receiver Calvin Johnson, recently said that he hopes to serve as a mentor to Gordon during his time in Cleveland in addition to helping the team succeed on the field.
“If I can take a guy out to dinner, hang out outside of the locker room, then I’m definitely going to do that because that’s one of the more important times when the lessons are learned, when you’ve got the jerseys off and you kind of unveil yourself and it’s not all football,” Burleson said, via the Akron Beacon Journal.
“That’s how I got so close to the receiving corps in Detroit. That’s how I was able to really get to know Calvin on a personal level because we spent so much time with each other off the field. That’s the plan. I’m going to continue to do that. That’s part of my nature, though. That’s just who I am. I’m a social butterfly, and I feel like positive conversation, positive reinforcement is always going to supersede anything else.”
Burleson has been viewed as a solid presence in the locker room during his previous stops around the league, so if he can keep Gordon out of trouble off the field, the signing will mean much more to the Browns than on-field success.
There is no denying that Gordon is one of the most talented wide receivers currently in the NFL, and as long as he can stay on the right path the team will be able to benefit from his skill set. MORE: 2014 NFL Mock Draft: Browns take OT Greg Robinson at No. 4