Yesterday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported a ruling on Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon’s suspension appeal has been made. The wideout is fighting a possible year-long ban for (barely) testing positive for marijuana in an offseason drug test. After going through a two-day appeal process back in early August, the results are now in.
Of course, even though this was reported yesterday, we still have no idea what the actual results are.
Yes, even though Schefter said the ruling is literally on the desk of the NFL’s arbitrator, no announcement has been made yet. Apparently, the delay is being caused by trying to determine the best time to issue the ruling.
Confused? You should be, because this process is beyond baffling at this point. Despite the reports of the failed test surfacing in May, despite the Browns being made aware of it in April and despite the appeal being completed on August 4, the NFL would like to delay the announcement a little longer. You know, because if you issue a potential year-long suspension, you have to make sure it’s done at a good time, am I right?
Is the league really waiting to determine when best to suspend Gordon for a year? Seriously? Here’s a thought; wouldn’t the right time to make this decision have been, I don’t know, at least two months ago? Well before any sort of full-year ban would wipe out both Gordon’s upcoming regular season as well as his entire 2015 offseason?
Schefter also reports his Browns sources are beyond frustrated at how long this has taken. Can you blame them? They were told of the possible suspension in April, and here we are almost five months later, with the team having absolutely no idea if their best offensive player can suit up for them this year.
How many more times does the league need to be reminded how badly they’re dragging their feet here? We’re talking about potentially banning a player from his team for 365 days. Basic logic says you want to get everything taken care of as quickly as possible, so said player can get his punishment started. But no, let’s move at snail’s pace here, no need to make any decision of this magnitude anytime soon. Because timing.
Word is Gordon is already prepping a lawsuit if the league does throw the book at him. Apparently, Gordon will challenge the NFL’s ruling against Ohio state drug laws, and this could possibly result in him playing this season while everything is sorted out. Such an event took place with Kevin and Pat Williams of the Minnesota Vikings in 2008.
There aren’t many positives coming from this inexplicable postponement from the NFL, but some believe it can be used in Gordon’s favor if he does decide to take matters to court. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk claims this unnecessary delay could make a judge sympathetic towards Gordon.
If it doesn’t elicit empathy from a judge, it sure should do so from everybody else. Not because of Gordon’s failed test. He put himself in this position thanks to a spotty history with drug abuse.
No, you have to feel for Gordon mainly due to the fact the season starts a week from Sunday, and thanks to the league taking their sweet time on their decision, he has no idea if he’ll be a part of it.
UPDATE: Josh Gordon’s year-long suspension has been upheld by the NFL.