Josh Gordon drags Browns back to old problems

Clayton: Gordon not moving in positive direction for reinstatement (0:41)

John Clayton provides the latest information on Josh Gordon, who reportedly failed another drug test as he attempts to be reinstated into the NFL. (0:41)

Monday was quite an afternoon for Josh Gordon.

First came news that he and Johnny Manziel were sharing an apartment.

Then came news from Fox Sports that Gordon had failed another drug test, either for a level of marijuana that exceeds the league threshold, or for a diluted test. The report said it does not mean that Gordon will miss the 2016 season, but it might be enough for the Cleveland Browns to say enough.

This team simply does not need any more drama and distraction, and since he led the NFL and set a Browns record with 1,646 receiving yards in 2013, Gordon has provided a ton of drama and distraction.

He has been suspended for 27 of the past 32 games, and in the five games he played at the end of 2014, his effort was lackluster. Then came word that he was banned. Now comes word of another failed test in March.

Why should the Browns bother at this point? Why keep hoping that things will change?

The Browns made a point of saying they will take a stand about certain behavior when they released Manziel. Yet Gordon drags them back.

Start fresh.

The case can be made that the Browns can wait and see how the league rules on Gordon's reinstatement. But the odds of reinstatement dropped significantly when news of this test broke. The NFL does not look kindly on diluted tests, and it gives nothing for excuse-filled players, saying simply that every player is responsible for what goes in their bodies.

These off-field issues take away from football, from on the field. The Browns have a new coach and a new front office approach. They're "rebooting" the long way.

But old problems keep dragging them back.

Gordon's positive test comes on the heels of Manziel spending the last weekend of the season in Las Vegas, and of the two spending time in March together at an MMA fight.

Manziel and Gordon are friends, and became so in the season when Gordon was suspended the first 10 games and both were suspended for the finale. Manziel said he talked to Gordon at least once a week during his suspension last season.

Why the pair are sharing an apartment is up for debate. Maybe Gordon is trying to help a friend. Maybe they just decided to spend some L.A. time together. Who knows?

But in the past month, Gordon has become very quiet on Twitter after a stretch in which he was active, engaged and free with commentary. Gordon deleted a lot of his past tweets and has gone largely silent -- though he made light of the report of the failed test on Monday.

A fresh start for a team means not giving the new regime old problems. Gordon is a player with immense talent, but when a player is active for only five of the past 32 games and then tests positive while staring at reinstatement, that's a problem.

Continuing a problem exacerbates the problem.

It doesn't take analytics to figure that out.