Fresh off being suspended for the entire 2014 season, Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon is already looking at his options.
Reports are surfacing saying Gordon is seeking legal action, potentially suing the NFL for their ruling regarding his failed drug test. Though the legitimacy of the test results is still in debate, some are saying Gordon wouldn’t have much of a fight in court. Essentially, he knew he was in Stage III of the league’s drug policy, and regardless of whether or not the marijuana detected in his test was first or secondhand smoke, he shouldn’t have been anywhere near the drug in the first place.
Another option he is reportedly considering is heading north of the border to play in the Canadian Football League. The Calgary Stampeders already put in a request for the right to sign Gordon, however this may not come into fruition either. League rules state no suspended player currently under contract in the NFL can play in the CFL. Gordon could try to challenge the rule, but Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has been told by a source the Browns wouldn’t give him permission to play in Canada.
Though the rules are black and white, it’s a shame this isn’t an option for Gordon. Quite simply, it probably would’ve been the best thing for the troubled receiver after receiving his one-year ban.
Think about it. The suspension given to Gordon stipulates he’s not only banned from playing this season, he’s also not allowed at the Browns practice facility unless he’s there to see his treating clinician. Common thought appears to be Gordon is someone who, after yet another drug issue, desperately needs help. However, the Browns can’t do anything about it, and Gordon will be forced to spend a year away from his team.
Now remember the fact he was away from his team when he failed a drug test last year. He was away from the team this past May when, despite knowing of his potential year-long ban, was not only caught speeding, but had a passenger in his car who was carrying marijuana. Gordon was on his own when he was arrested for a DWI over this past Fourth of July weekend, and when he was eventually bailed out of jail by Haydn Patrick “Fats” Thomas, a convicted felon.
Things may change this time around, but there’s plenty of evidence saying the Browns should be sincerely concerned about Gordon being left to his own devices for the next year. In the CFL, Gordon would’ve had a very welcome distraction.
He’s admitted the football field is the only place he can find peace, and having it available through such a tumultuous time in his life could’ve been a lifesaver. The CFL season lasts until November, which would’ve left Gordon with only a couple free months before he could try to appeal his suspension and get back to the Browns’ facility.
Instead, Gordon will be out on his own again, and you better believe this will cause plenty of anxiety within Cleveland’s front office.
I personally hold out hope in Gordon fighting for, and eventually winning the chance to play in the CFL, with the Browns allowing him to do so. Losing an entire year in the NFL is an incredibly difficult situation for Gordon, and he needs to find any sort of productive distraction he can as soon as possible.