By Bryan Rose
May 13, 2014

Josh Gordon suspension: Browns could target Santonio Holmes, Miles Austin as replacements The Browns may pursue a veteran wideout such as Santonio Holmes (10) if Josh Gordon misses extended time. (David Bergman/SI/Getty Images)

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is expected to miss significant time during the 2014 season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, although the exact length of his impending suspension is still uncertain.

As a result, the Browns have a daunting task this offseason in finding receivers to replace Gordon's production for however long he's out of commission, and the team may express interest in either Miles Austin or Santonio Holmes, according to's Ian Rapoport.

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It's unknown whether Cleveland has reached out to either player at this point, but Austin and Holmes are two of the top available free agents in terms of name value and career production and could help cushion the loss of Gordon, who could miss anywhere between eight and 16 games.

Head coach Mike Pettine is familiar with Holmes from their time together with the New York Jets, though Holmes may not be worth the trouble if he's not fully committed to playing.

Austin is a rather effective wideout when healthy, but the veteran has struggled with nagging hamstring injuries for multiple seasons and has yet to prove he's physically able to remain healthy for an extended period.

Assuming either player is willing to play on a relatively cheap or incentive-laden deal, there's little risk for the Browns, but Cleveland may be best served looking elsewhere if the Browns are asked to make a significant investment in either veteran despite each player's track record.

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