It was reported earlier today that Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was looking into playing in the Canadian Football League while serving his one-year suspension from the NFL due to violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Unfortunately for Gordon, he is ineligible to sign a contract with the CFL.
Since Gordon will be serving a season-long suspension until next summer, he is prohibited from playing in the CFL due to league policy. According to ESPN, a CFL official stated that CFL “teams are prohibited from signing a suspended player of any league who is under contract with his league.”
Gordon was interested in joining the CFL in 2014 so that he could remain active and stay in football shape. The 2013 NFL leader in receiving yards had his suspension upheld this week by arbitrator Harold Henderson. The main reason is because he is a repeat offender of the league’s substance abuse policy. Plus, his relatively recent DUI did not help his situation.
There were several NFL players and members of the media who were upset that Gordon’s one-year suspension was not reduced to eight games, which was expected to happen. It is true that he failed a drug test for marijuana and deserved to be suspended, but the big issue is the length of suspension for a crime that is far less harmful than other crimes committed by players. For instance, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice received only a two-game suspension even though he beat his girlfriend (now wife) unconscious and dragged her motionless body out of a casino elevator.
Despite what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell believes, there is no question the system is flawed.