He can re-apply for reinstatement in the fall.
Gordon, who hasn't played in a regular-season NFL game since 2014, applied for reinstatement in early March. His business manager Michael Johnson told ESPN's Adam Schefter 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."
Gordon, 26, also has been working out with former Olympian turned speed coach Tim Montgomery, who has had his own drug problems, but now uses his past mistakes to help others.
Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown 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," he said.
"We're not in position at wide receiver to turn down a guy like Josh if we feel he's settled himself. 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 was conditionally reinstated last year with a four-game suspension to start the season. He played in the preseason, finishing with five receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown, but he checked himself into an inpatient rehabilitation facility in October, citing a need to "gain full control of my life," and remained on the suspended list.
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.
In 2013, Gordon's second year in the league, he had 87 catches for a league-leading 1,646 yards, but he played in only five games the next season