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Josh Gordon's application for reinstatement denied by NFL

The NFL has denied Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon's application for reinstatement, a league source told ESPN's Pat McManamon on Thursday, confirming a report by USA Today Sports.

Gordon applied in early March. He can reapply for reinstatement in the fall.

Gordon hasn't played in a regular-season game since 2014 because of suspensions for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

His business manager, Michael Johnson, told ESPN's Adam Schefter in March that Gordon was living with him and was "in the best place mentally that he has been in, dating back years before entering the NFL."

A source told ESPN's Josina Anderson Thursday that Gordon's most recent agent terminated him about "about two weeks ago." NFL Players Association records show that person was Joby Branion, the third agent to represent Gordon in his brief NFL career. Gordon also has been represented by Drew Rosenhaus and Jeff Nalley.

Gordon, 26, has been working out this year with speed coach Tim Montgomery, a former Olympian who has had his own drug problems but now uses his past mistakes as basis to help others.

Sashi Brown, the Browns' executive vice president of football operations, indicated at this year's NFL owners meetings that if Gordon were to be reinstated by the NFL, he might have a chance to remain with the team despite past declarations by the Browns that they were moving on from the wide receiver.

"Listen, assuming he would play at the level we started to see glimpses of last preseason and certainly in the league before, [Gordon] would be a talent I think no team in the NFL would turn down if he got back in. Our decision with Josh is just understanding where he is in this process and being able to have him," Brown said.

In 2013, Gordon's second year in the league, he had 87 catches for a league-leading 1,646 yards despite missing the first two games of the season.

"We're not in position at wide receiver to turn down a guy like Josh if we feel he's settled himself," Brown said. "Josh is going to have an opportunity to reapply to the NFL and at that time we'll make a decision when we know what's going on."

Gordon's off-field issues began in college when he was dismissed by both Baylor and Utah for failing drug tests. The Browns selected him in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft.

The NFL suspended Gordon for 10 games in 2014 for violating the substance abuse policy, and the Browns suspended him for the season finale for missing the final walk-through the day before. The NFL also suspended him for two games in 2013 for violations of the substance abuse policy.

He has not played in a game since Dec. 21, 2014. Gordon has been suspended for 43 of the Browns' last 48 games.