Several controversial stories have cropped up around the NFL of late in Cleveland and at USC. Here are some takeaways from the action.
Failure of Colin Kaepernick to mesh with Johnson shows folly of Niners
Going into the off-season, many experts felt the San Francisco 49ers needed help at wide receiver, somebody who could compliment Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. Instead of drafting somebody out of what was considered a deep class as was expected, the team chose to trade for Stevie Johnson from Buffalo. He was quick to proclaim the 49ers now had “three number ones” at receiver. So far in preseason, that hasn’t looked like the case. Johnson has two catches for 11 yards and admitted he and quarterback Colin Kaepernick have failed to find a connection thus far. There is still a chance that could change, but the reliance the team has showed on him opening up the offense shows the folly of their decision to not do more.
Cleveland Browns get hosed by the NFL on Josh Gordon
A zero-tolerance policy is nice in theory, but not always practical. Was Josh Gordon an idiot for getting in trouble again on marijuana charges? Absolutely. However, suspending him for a year from the NFL just shows how unsympathetic the league is. While Ray Rice gets off scot free with just a two-game suspension for domestic violence because he’s a first-time offender, Gordon couldn’t control his urges around a drug that is becoming more and more legalized every day. One Cleveland Browns official said there is no replacing that kind of talent loss. He’s right, and though Gordon made the mistake, the league made an even bigger one by banishing him for that long and in all likelihood sending the Browns into another disappointing season.
Josh Shaw likely torpedoed draft stock by not coming clean
Off the field problems are nothing new for NFL scouts in regard to college players coming into the NFL draft. It’s a part of the process that must be weighed with everything else regarding a prospect. However, everything changes when it becomes clear a player has trouble telling the truth. Few things scare coaches and general managers more than a player they can’t trust, on or off the field.
USC cornerback Josh Shaw proved that when he made up a story that he jumped off a high balcony and sprained both ankles in order to save his drowning nephew in order to cover up his alleged role in a break-in report. Regardless of how that police investigation comes out, Shaw, who was on the fast track to becoming a 1st round draft pick, may have lost himself millions of dollars.