CLEVELAND — Josh Gordon says he's determined to be the best wide receiver in the NFL on the field and the best possible version of himself away from it.
Gordon, who reunited with the Browns this week after being reinstated on a conditional basis by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, stressed accountability and transparency after multiple violations of the league's substance abuse policy and a public struggle with addiction.
In hopes of ultimately returning to the field for the first time in almost three years, the embattled but gifted pass-catcher spoke of a "newfound obsession with improvement" in both his personal and professional life.
"My life is a just a conducive space of who I need to be for me, psychologically, physically, it's all coming together," he said Wednesday. "Right now, at this point in time in my life, I'm feeling well, I'm feeling great."
Gordon, who led the NFL in receiving in 2013, can practice as early as Nov. 20 and return to the active roster as early as Nov. 27, meaning he could potentially play in a road trip to the Los Angeles Chargers on Dec. 3. Gordon went through a similar ordeal when he was conditionally reinstated two summers ago before entering an inpatient rehabilitation facility in September 2016. He has been suspended without pay since.
Both Gordon and the Browns hope this time is different. "There's a different look in his eye," said head coach Hue Jackson, who met with the receiver Tuesday. "We're going to support him and give him every opportunity to be part of this football team."
If that happens, Gordon, who said he'll lean on a support system inside and outside Berea, is poised to give winless Cleveland a much-needed playmaker on offense. Despite having not played in a regular season game since Dec. 21, 2014, he shined in a preseason game against the Buccaneers two seasons ago, flashing the kind of talent that made him one of the NFL's best receivers.
With a refocused approach, Gordon believes he can return to form both on and off the field.
"I feel if I can stick to that plan, the rest will take care of itself," he said. "But ultimately my goal is to be the best wide receiver of all time … that's always been my goal and I think it's been reaffirmed for me time and time again. Now being back in a situation to do it, I plan on seeing it through."