Browns and Gordon still waiting, with no appeal date set

Gordon

josh-gordon-nfl-record-cleveland-browns

The NFL still has not officially handed down a suspension for Browns WR Josh Gordon.

The team still can’t talk about the situation.

On Monday, Pro Football Talk.com reported however that Josh Gordon still does not even have an appeal hearing set.

What is the significance of this news? Simply put, it is about timing. The Browns would like to know if they will have their star receiver and biggest offensive weapon for half a season, a third of a season or not at all. The number of games he is suspended could make a huge difference in how Cleveland prepares for the upcoming season.

If he is suspended for a year, the Browns would like him to start serving that suspension immediately, so that one calendar year can pass and Gordon would possibly be eligible to return to the team for the 2015 training camp.

Word first leaked of a possible Gordon suspension back on May 10th, during the second day of the NFL Draft. The thought was Gordon’s case would be cleared up before the league offices went on summer break. If the appeal news is true, there is no way the league makes a final decision until later in the summer.

Is this fair to the Browns? Well, there really isn’t much precedent here to say whether the league is dragging their feet or not. In Joe Haden’s case, news of his failed test came on August 8th 2012, and the NFL handed down his suspension on September 10th, after his appeal was heard.

[Related: Browns film room- Joel Bitonio]

  • MrCleaveland

    This stinks. Make a decision already.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I can’t help but think this won’t end well for the Browns the last time there needed to be a timely decision for this franchise it was when it was a rush job at reanimating it and we’ve all seen how well that’s worked out.

  • bossman09

    This could explain the Brown’s reaction during the draft. Perhaps there is more to this than we know. If the NFL hasn’t started the appeal process this could be something other than a clear cut “strike 3″

  • Lunch

    Man, why are they taking so long to make a decision?

  • RGB

    Gordon only has 2 official NFL strikes.
    Purple drank, errrr, cough syrup, and a missed test.
    I’m sure his counsel will argue the point that his college record is irrelevant, as is his recent speeding ticket, should Overlord Goodell decide to hand out a punishment not in line with the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement’s stipulations pertaining to a second strike.

  • eldaveablo

    Maybe the NFL is dragging their feet because the story got leaked and they aren’t thrilled about it?

  • Harv 21

    Don’t get the fan anxiety. After testing positive despite knowing he was facing indefinite suspension, he (in the most charitable version of events) permitted his posse to light up in his vehicle. At this point there is zero reason to think Josh is anything but gone because he is a self-destructive incorrigible.

    He’s tested dirty three times in two years under team supervision, after multiple identical college infractions. Absent some thunderclap of a complete life change, he’s just a football hologram, about as real as a Madden game player. I’d never give up on Josh the Person, but Josh the NFL player is gone, for the foreseeable future if not permanently. Look at the timeline of his drug infractions since he entered college, the consistent failed tests after counseling/supervision, the consistent bridges he’s burned. He was a decent bet as a second rounder but the payoff was just one glorious season.

  • MrCleaveland

    But . . . but . . . but . . . Greg Little said this is all a MISTAKE!!!!!

  • BenRM
  • Natedawg86

    It seems like no one else ever knows this. The NFL put him in an elevated status coming in because of his history, but this is only his 2nd strike (if this ends up being a strike)

  • CB Everett

    Yes, we are all antsy, but no decision may be a good thing for us. It might suggest that a big hammer won’t drop (maybe just a little one?). No need to press the almighty judge to decide–just keep you head down and be patient, and most of all, don’t get pulled over with weed in the car.

    And as far as the delay barring the Browns from preparing for Plan B, come on man—what is this delay preventing us from doing? Drafting Sammy Watkins in a few weeks? Signing Desean Jackson soon? We have his fill-in already in Miles Austin—he’s busy icing up the old hammy and praying for dear life that it holds.

  • maxfnmloans

    no, it was a missed steak. Apparently they were suuposed to go to Flemings after they were done getting high

  • CB Everett

    Goodell and Jim Gray in an ESPN special: The Josh Gordon decision. Tell me you wouldn’t watch that?

  • BenRM

    In a Miami minute!

  • RGB

    And if I’m a lawyer, I ask the NFL to produce the “Double Secret Probation” clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
    Otherwise, 2 strikes are 2 strikes, and the penalties for 2 strikes are clearly called out in the CBA.
    Indefinite or year-long suspensions are not among them.
    My guess is this is taking so long because the NFL is trying to craft a way to suspend him for longer than required in the CBA.

  • nj0

    Has it all been positives for weed? If you’re going to throw away your future for a drug, at least do it for a better one than that.

  • nj0

    Agreed. I for one assume he will be gone for the year at a minimum. More likely: he never takes the field again.

  • nj0

    A player can be put into stage one of the intervention program without a
    positive test. Behavior or a self-referral can get you there. Not sure if this applies to Gordon. Also, “including but not limited to” language is bad contract-speak.

    “Behavior,
    including but not limited to an arrest related to an
    alleged misuse of substances of abuse, which, in the judgment of the
    Medical
    Director, exhibits physical, behavioral, or psychological signs or
    symptoms of misuse
    of substances of abuse.”

  • LilBoyBlue

    Actually, zero for weed in the pros. Codeine and then a missed test. Good talk.

  • JNeids

    The NFL is trying to figure out how to suspend Gordon and not Ray Rice while still protecting the shield.

  • RGB

    This should be interesting then.
    I’m sure the NFLPA will be watching closely. Especially if the membership can potentially be held responsible for actions in college.

  • RGB

    That goes without saying.
    I think they are trying to figure out how to suspend Gordon without actually setting a precedent for all future NCAA malcontents. You can bet the NFLPA is watching this one closely.

  • nj0

    Marvin Miller took a lot of heat for it, but he was right about drug testing. If I was in a pro sports union I would fight tooth and nail against it. Chiefly because of privacy issues, but also because it seems like implementation is always a boondoggle.

  • nj0

    Ah, I knew that. The purple drank. My advice to Gordon would be find a good doctor, get all the scipts you want, and then kick back and enjoy. Rich people trick: call your drugs medicine.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com/ Scott @ WFNY

    Fanxiety

  • mgbode

    Would Josh take his talents to Red Rock or City of Roses?

  • mgbode

    I heard Quentin Groves referred him to a real good masseuse in Orange.

  • mgbode

    It was said that he had a script for the codeine, but didn’t get it cleared with the NFL first, which is why he had a shortened suspension. Not sure how much is true as all the drug suspension stuff is done through “leaked” information.

  • mgbode

    Ray is a wonderful human being. She simply slipped right into his hand and in an effort to clutch onto her falling body mistakenly made a fist that happened to graze her chin knocking her to the ground unconscious. Didn’t you see him helping her out of the elevator? Ray Rice is a prince and a true showman of chivalry!

  • nj0

    Gordon needs his wife to go on TV and apologize?

  • mgbode

    maybe go the Chris Perez route and blame his dog?

  • nj0

    So he may have been suspended for failing to file the proper paperwork with the league to inform them of a legal medicine prescribed for a legitimate illness?

  • mgbode

    yes, he claimed it was for strep. however, someone (i.e. likely the league) later demonstrated that he was in Vegas during that time I believe. so, he could have had strep in Vegas. or he could have been partaking in the purple drank and gotten a shady doctor to post-prescribe him when he got caught.

    that’s why it stinks about the lack of visibility. noone will know and it’s all whisper presumptions.

  • nj0

    So the league can suspend you for taking your medicine in the wrong city?

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    harv, adkins is lending some credence to a rumor that gordon didn’t fail a test but missed one. that distinction, if true, is major and that -so the rumor holds- is what is holding up the appeal date setting (and the suspension or length of questions also).

  • mgbode

    if you don’t clear it with them, then they sure can.

    but, do you believe Gordon or NFL in this case? I have no idea, but Gordon doesn’t make it easy to defend him.

  • nj0

    I realize this is a labor dispute based on a contractual agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA. It is not criminal law. But that said, I personally approach it as an innocent-until-proven-guilty sort of thing. For me, the burden of proof is on the NFL. (Now the CBA and various other agreements may say otherwise. That I really don’t know.) Since I really don’t have any real facts in front of me, I don’t think I necessarily about believing anyone. I just think if you’re inhibit a person’s ability to earn a living, disparage his name, and endanger his livelihood, the burden of proof should be fairly high.

    Maybe the NFL reached the burden of proof. Since it’s behind closed doors, who knows? I’m just saying – I can think of extremely plausible reasons someone would have prescription codeine cough syrup and still have to go to Vegas.

  • nj0

    Also, the NFL doesn’t make it easy to defend them. Not like I know Gordon, but the NFL has lied to me (and the rest of us) before. Pats scandal, concussions, cortizone, pain killers… Roger and company aren’t exactly the most trustworthy of people either. They actively sought to add Jimmy Haslam to their ranks. Just saying.

  • Harv 21

    certainly a distinction, but question whether it’s major. Drew Rosenhaus was reportedly escorting and babysitting his golden goose all off-season, because he well knows the repercussions for missing a test after two violations. I refuse to be such a homer as to pretend this was an innocent whoops, whether failed test or missed test. The CBA is structured such that the player and agent can say anything about a violation – even something patently false – without waiving confidentiality, but the league cannot respond even after the player/agent comment. Amazing how Joshie keeps getting in these innocent jams – gets codeine cough syrup for strep when 24 hours after antibiotics are started the rest of the world feels better – yet other players follow their careers unimpeded.

  • mgbode

    so can I. just with the rest of the history of Gordon added into it before and after, I cannot naively presume his innocence. perhaps I am just too cynical.

    I do agree that the NFL lies it’s fair share as well. another reason to either make this process visible or not have it at all.

  • nj0

    I wouldn’t characterize it as naive to say – “we don’t know and will withhold judgment until we get new information”.

  • mgbode

    you will simply withhold judgement likely then as both sides seem destined to just bury that incident, which is fine if you can do it.

  • nj0

    True, but ultimately it will make me hate the NFL that much more with their “trust us, nothing to see here” attitude.

  • humboldt
  • mgbode
  • Natedawg86

    They should have a clause about a missed test that allows the player to conduct an emergency test within 24 hours. I don’t think the NFL is trying to suspend him longer, he is one of the best WR in the league right now. They are all about the Benjamins

  • saggy

    I’d have to think, if i’m his attorney, I am arguing that behavior occurring before becoming a professional football player – before becoming a member of the NFLPA – is irrelevant in these circumstances. Otherwise, what’s there to stop Goodell from going back in players’ histories to find out they got in fights in high school or skipped class often, or committed shoplifting?

    I’m not just arguing this way because I want Gordon to play with the team i root for – i just believe that Goodell is abusing the system, and it has to stop somewhere.

  • saggy

    not presuming innocence isn’t the same as proving guilt, which needs to happen in this country’s courts. However, the CBA may offer different sorts of rules.