Suspended Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, known for dodging truck-sized NFL defenders, will try his hand at selling trucks — and maybe some cars, too.
Gordon, banned by the league for the 2014 season for repeated violations of its substance abuse policy, was hired by the Sarchione Auto Group in Ohio, where he’ll get on-the-job training selling cars while engaging with the community.
Gordon had no prior relationship with the Randolph, Ohio-based group, which has a Ford dealership, a Chevrolet dealership and a used-vehicle dealership, according to the Record-Courier newspaper in Kent, Ohio. The group sells about 500 to 600 new and used vehicles a month.
Alex Sarchione, the group’s Internet and advertising coordinator, said in an interview that she contacted Gordon’s agency, Rosenhaus Sports Representation, last month after her husband suggested they make a pitch for Gordon’s services. Her husband, John Sarchione, co-owns the dealership group and is an avid Browns fan.
Negotiations took a week and were finalized last week. Alex Sarchione declined to discuss Gordon’s compensation.
Gordon will learn the ropes of the car business and will be a “goodwill ambassador” who’ll participate in the dealership group’s community efforts such as the Wounded Warrior Project, which aids veterans.
Alex Sarchione said Gordon, whom she described as “down to earth” and “shy,” had dinner with her family at their home last week.
“At the end of the day, Josh will have his NFL career and then he’s going to have to do something after his football life. He’s always had an interest in vehicles and cars,” Alex Sarchione said.
“One day, Josh is going to own one of his own stores. He’ll have a franchise. He’s interested in learning every aspect of the car business. We’re really excited to teach him about it.”
Jeff Sarchione, co-owner of dealership group, told the Record-Courier that last year’s NFL receiving yardage leader — 1,646 yards, along with nine touchdowns — will “completely immerse himself in the day-to-day activities” of the operation.
“If you want to buy a car from Josh, you will be able to do that,” Sarchione told the paper. “If you want to buy a truck from Josh, you will be able to do that. Josh will be available and he is going to be part of a lot of what we do. If we need some cars moved around, need vehicles washed or snow moved, he is going to be part of that also.”
Alex Sarchione said Gordon’s hiring is generating excitement among customers. The store is getting visits, calls and emails from customers who support the move.
“He’s a regular person and he plays NFL football. We’re taking a situation and we’re turning it around and we’re going to make it all positive,” she said. “We’re behind Josh 100 percent.”