The confirmation came down today and the Cleveland Browns will be without talented wide receiver Josh Gordon for a year. Being suspended for one year for a violation of the NFL substance abuse policy is something that Gordon certainly deserves. He is young, he made bad choices and he will be plenty young enough to become an NFL legend when the suspension is over.
Even the Browns likely have little problem with the ruling itself, but the delay in ruling on the appeal was crazy long. Because of the amount of time the NFL delayed coming to this decision, the Browns not only will be without Gordon for this season but it could also affect his presence at their mini-camp and training camp in 2015.
The hope is that the league will allow him to return early, but if they do not this could have a negative impact on the 2015 season as well. With the quarterback uncertainty the team has in 2014, this might be the best possible time for the suspension of their top receiver if it has to happen. It seems unfair for the suspension of this season to adversely affect next season as well, however; especially when the delay is basically the fault of the NFL.
Without a doubt the right thing for the league to do would be to ensure Gordon can take part in the camps next summer so that he will not lose two seasons for one offense. Nothing is guaranteed, however, for the new NFL brass who seem to enjoy making examples out of players and teams that do something wrong. Don’t put it past the NFL to fix this delay issue, but don’t be surprised if they allow it to stand for one solid year as well. It is just the kind of thing they would do.