When Is It Time To Move On?
There are times in sport, as in life, when it becomes apparent that it is time to move on. It can be hard to recognize when that time is and tougher still to do it.
In the cases that I am referring to, the Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Browns may be facing the inevitable. For the Tribe, it may be time to conclude that Lonnie Chisenhall’s calf problems may never go away. He has spent a lot of time on the disabled list with injuries that most people never suffer. For the hapless Brownies, Josh Gordon has announced he will not be attending training camp when it opens. After missing 54 games in four seasons due to alcohol and drug problems which have led to suspensions, the Browns are left to wonder if he will ever be the player they hoped would give them a star at wide receiver.
When making the decision to sever ties with an athlete, a team hesitates for three primary reasons. First, they have seen enough to know that if the player is healthy and available he is worth the wait. Secondly, he has become such a valuable member of the team as a person, not just an athlete, that the team will wait longer than normal. Finally, the thought of getting rid of someone and see him blossom with another team will make teams refuse to pull the trigger.
So are these two guys nearing the end for their respective Cleveland teams. Let’s start with Chisenhall. Lonnie is not a superstar by any stretch of the imagination, but he is a quality major league player. The concern has to be that his seemingly odd injuries have cast a serious doubt on his dependability. As for Gordon, he has shown “flashes” of brilliance in the few times he has been on the field. Flash will likely get more “wait” time than most because many believe he could be the best wideout in the NFL. That doesn’t mean much if he cannot tackle his demons and get on the field.
I can confirm that I would not like to be part of the front office that has to make a decision on whether to fish or cut bait on these two guys.
The view from my seat suggests that the time is coming – sooner rather than later – that those decisions will have to be made. As a fan, I hope that both recover and make the decision come several years down the road.