No decision on Josh Gordon’s potential suspension is expected Friday


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And the Josh Gordon saga drags on. As the Cleveland Browns continue to roll through Training Camp, wide receiver Josh Gordon is expected to have his appeal hearing on Friday, but no ruling is expected to come out for several days.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will be in Canton, Ohio for the 2014 Hall of Fame enshrinement and is expected to meet with Gordon later in the coming week. Gordon’s appeal will instead be heard by arbitrator Harold Henderson in New York with a decision will be handed down “soon.”

No NFL player is believed to have won an appeal with a second-hand smoke defense, but with the PR push and mounting evidence, Gordon’s chances appear to be better than any of those who were heard before him. (He could still face discipline for his July 4 weekend DWI. That hearing on that case is scheduled for Aug. 26.) Gordon’s attorneys, Heather McPhee of the NFLPA and Maurice Suh, will reportedly argue that the wide receiver’s test results were inconsistent—his “A” and “B” specimens turning up different amounts, one below league threshold—and that Gordon should not be subject to banishment from the NFL having allegedly passed 70 additional tests.

Gordon was naturally missing from Thursday morning’s practice session with the Browns, who deemed his absence due to “traveling.” Given that the initial news regarding the possible suspension broke during the NFL Draft, what’s another few days?

[Related: The “Help” Josh Gordon Really Needs]

  • nj0

    Uh…. Tea leaf reading time: I don’t like that it’s an arbitrator. Seems like a very convenient out for the Shield – “Don’t blame us for the Gordon/Rice suspension inequity… an arbitrator made the decision!”

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    Of course not.

  • woofersus

    It is a convenient out, but I still think it’s better than just having Goodell make the decision with all of the politics involved therein. I think Gordon’s attorney can possibly argue some reason to an arbitrator, and he/she will make the best decision they can.

  • EdgewaterJoe

    Arbitration is standard for most unions – and that’s the dice roll. 50/50 proposition no matter who you get. That’s how the Northwestern University decision happened, and it could be why the delay may be to cut a deal if both sides are afraid of what the decision could be (since defeat looks bad) …

  • JNeids

    Harold: So Coach Pettine, what week will JFF take over as starter?…Then that’s when you get Gordon back.

  • shakins

    just as Leonard answered I am taken by surprise that a single mom can make $7907 in a few weeks on the internet . check my source ……………….. PAYRAP.ℭℴℳ

  • CB Everett

    It’s contractually provided for in the CBA and in most pro employment agreements. Hard to say what it means for the fate of Gordon. Generally arbitrators are more conservative leaning and side with the business vs employee, but here the players union is a big force (as well as the publicity and precedence here) so the arb is more likely to want to split the baby (here, issue, say a 6 game suspension). I think that might happen.

  • TomWFNY

    My main concern with all these delays with Gordon is that, if he does get suspended for a full year, he’ll have to miss training camp NEXT year just because the judicial process has taken so long.

  • Natedawg86

    That is what I was originally thinking, but it may be in games not calendar year.

  • Natedawg86

    or suspended for the 2014-15 NFL season

  • nj0

    Not true at all in the NFL.

    Per the Policy and Program for Substance of Abuse: “”Within a reasonable period of time,following the hearing, the Commissioner will issue a written decision which will constitute a full, final, and complete disposition of the appeal and which will be binding on all parties”.

    I’m not sure where to look and I don’t claim an encyclopedic knowledge of all drug cases, but the ones I do remember involved the commish and not an arbitrator.

  • Natedawg86

    Mrs Shakins, do you have to be a single mom to make $7907 in a few weeks?


    What if I want to make $7924?

  • Return of the (Alex) Mack

    you need to look elsewhere

  • nj0

    Again, not the case. The agreement states “either the Commissioner or his designee will preside as Hearing Officer”.

    Nowhere in the drug policy is the word arbitrator used.

    The media seems willing to use the word to suggest some impartiality in the process, but the truth is the deck is stacked by the League Office and the Commissioner. The question is whether they’re stacking the deck to hang Gordon or provide a benevolent pardon in light of the Ray Rice suspension.

  • nj0
  • CB Everett

    Oh my bad. I didn’t see that post first. I was under the impression that per contact the appeal of the dispute called for an arbitration (Note: that would be standard fare in contracts—ala MLB enhancement drug cases—so frankly the NFLPA are dumb a—es to have allowed the Commish that power).

    At any rate, I agree with you that the appointment of the arb by Goodell could just suggest puppetry. Then again, maybe Goodell and folks want to make sure the arb “gets it right” and has strong legal standing for his ruling, in case this thing gets challenged further (in the courts?) Not sure. Might just be, like you say, all for the appearance of impartiality and nothing more.

  • nj0

    Based on everything I’ve read about the ARod case, the MLBPA are dumbies too. Their recent CBA has given Selig a lot of unilateral power which is why ARod had no hope in his appeals.

    I’m just cynical and have zero faith in the NFL.

  • RGB

    Get the operation.

  • Harv 21

    really wishful thinking. The suspension your referencing is not for one year, it’s an indefinite suspension with the right to apply for reinstatement in a year. During the first year Gordon would undoubtedly be subject to random substance tests as a prerequisite for applying for reinstatement. Not sure what the chances are he’d pass those, even if you believe the “second hand smoke” and “weird doc gave me codeine for my strep throat” and “I let my posse smoke in my car when my career is on the line but jeepers it wasn’t mine” excuses.

    I know I’m a broken record on this, but people have got to stop thinking of it as a 1 year suspension. It is not.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    NFL dragging it’s feet again when it comes to the Cleveland Browns.

  • Garry_Owen

    My editing ire is up. I would like to respectfully propose a change in headline to: “A Decision on Gordon’s Potential Suspension is Not Expected Today.”

  • mgbode

    do you meant the operation that would allow one to be included on the video from the movie brought up in WWW?

  • woofersus

    The end result is the same thing. If he’s clean there’s little chance he doesn’t get reinstated after a year. If he isn’t clean he’d be suspended again anyway.