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Gordon’s career hangs in the balance

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Last season, receiver John Gordon emerged as one of the best receivers in the NFL.  Now, he may not be playing in the NFL for all of the 2014 season — or ever again.

If the ESPN report of another violation of the substance-abuse policy is true (and if it’s not Gordon’s lawyers should be drawing up the civil complaint at this moment), there’s no way the Browns didn’t know about the situation during the first round.

Apart from the multiple reports indicating the Browns knew, common sense and the normal unfolding of the process shows they had to know.  As a league source has explained it to PFT, the player initially gets notice that a portion of the sample tested positive.  He then receives the opportunity to have the rest of the sample (the so-called “B” bottle) tested.  Inevitably, the player exercises that right.

So then, if the “B” bottle test generates another positive, the player receives notice from Commissioner Roger Goodell of the confirmed violation.  Given Gordon’s history (he was suspended two games last year under the substance-abuse policy), the letter from Goodell would indicate that Gordon faces a suspension.

The ESPN report indicates that the letter came from Goodell to Gordon in late April.  The team and the NFLPA get the same letter.

So the Browns absolutely, positively knew.  And they surely suspected, given that Gordon had enough violations in the first year of his career to be suspended for the first two games of his second season, that this day was coming.

The most troubling aspect of this development, if the ESPN report is accurate, comes from the notion that Gordon has known the stakes of avoiding a positive test — and that he nevertheless failed to choose football over marijuana.  If the suspension sticks (and he has appeal rights), he’ll have to choose football over marijuana on a daily basis despite potentially being kicked out of football for 365 days.

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69 Responses to “Gordon’s career hangs in the balance”
  1. wwwfella says: May 9, 2014 7:23 PM


  2. thetooloftools says: May 9, 2014 7:23 PM

    Just sad. Sad. He could have helped us so much more.

  3. holographicribs says: May 9, 2014 7:23 PM

    Browns gonna Brown.

  4. Lord Oswald Bupkis III says: May 9, 2014 7:24 PM

    You’re either dedicated or you aren’t. At the moment, Gordon clearly isn’t dedicated. What a waste of talent.

  5. pooflingingmonkey says: May 9, 2014 7:25 PM

    Wow. Just wow.

  6. doctorrustbelt says: May 9, 2014 7:25 PM

    Looks like crappy, barely #2 quality, texting/pizza eating dangerous driver Burleson will be Cleveland’s #1 receiver.

    Good luck, Johnny.

  7. rbell2123 says: May 9, 2014 7:25 PM

    Just put the blunt down and walk away

  8. pittsteelers101 says: May 9, 2014 7:26 PM

    How come will hill from the giants is not suspended for a year?

  9. wcucarter says: May 9, 2014 7:26 PM


  10. victoreviking says: May 9, 2014 7:26 PM

    Out of Cleveland for sure…

  11. ajgreenhof says: May 9, 2014 7:26 PM

    I love to smoke a much as the next guy but come on man you got the world in the palm of your hand! Time to give it up!

  12. kwjsb says: May 9, 2014 7:26 PM

    You know, I am not an NFL personnel guy, but every post I have made in the last 3 months about the draft I said take Watkins or Evans as an insurance policy against Gordon faltering. I Geez, I didn’t even stay at a holiday inn

  13. Spencer says: May 9, 2014 7:27 PM

    It’s people like Gordon that make some people feel as though marijuana is addictive.

  14. patsfan says: May 9, 2014 7:28 PM

    Havn’e seen the reports, but a missed test counts as a positive too, IIRC.

  15. smartanis says: May 9, 2014 7:29 PM

    Trade him to Denver. Problem solved.

  16. cactusdildo says: May 9, 2014 7:29 PM

    Hard to believe the nfl suspends players for marajuana yet they still don’t test for HGH.. Cause marajuana is way more if a performance enhancer than HGH right.

  17. Ben Jackson says: May 9, 2014 7:30 PM

    What’s stupid her is the marijuana policy. It has no impact on the player’s abilities-at least no boosting effect like PEDs. It is increasingly legal in states and local jurisdictions. The federal government is not interfering in these jurisdictions-and yet, the NFL persists in ruining careers and costing teams millions of dollars over players smoking a joint.

    It’s mind-boggling in its stupidity.

  18. murraysons says: May 9, 2014 7:31 PM

    Wow there goes all the excitement in Cleveland. Didn’t last long huh

  19. koufaxmitzvah says: May 9, 2014 7:31 PM

    So it’s cool to bash your head 1000 times a day but not cool to smoke a plant.

    Got it.

  20. Shinnbone says: May 9, 2014 7:32 PM

    Some people like to play Football and some people like to smoke dope. He made his choice.

  21. ctiggs says: May 9, 2014 7:32 PM

    I would say a year long suspension is a bit harsh, but i would be fired for my job for ONE offense.

  22. filthymcnasty1 says: May 9, 2014 7:32 PM

    MN now wants him to help offset the loss of EJ Henderson.

  23. iamdinguskhan says: May 9, 2014 7:33 PM

    A total shame!! Would have been a good match with Manziel. Nice way to be a selfish idiot and hurt your team and destroy your career.

  24. thagawdshow says: May 9, 2014 7:33 PM

    people can’t decide if they want to treat reefer as a drug or not. because when ppl get strung out on drugs, sympathy often follows.
    when people get caught up on reefer, the chorus of “HE’S SO STUPID” jumps up. now see, you have a decision to make here…
    if someone tests positive and your thought is “he’s dumb,” not “he has a problem,” then why is the substance prohibited?
    cuz if the only issue is he’s dumb for breaking a rule, let’s talk about the rule. if you think the rule’s to protect players… …then why are you “dumb” for breaking said rule? g’luck to all you on your high horse who’ll try to beat that logic. i doubt you can.

  25. johnnycash19 says: May 9, 2014 7:34 PM

    As a supporter of legalizing weed. This is stupid that he is suspended.

    But I think Josh Gordan is more stupid. You have a chance to make millions of dollars and he’s throwing it away, at least get to your 2nd contract man. CMON.

  26. pone27 says: May 9, 2014 7:35 PM

    Ill never understand why marijuana can hand such a hard sentence.

    I don’t smoke it (used to in my younger, more fun, less career days,) but I really cannot see how marijuana should affect a players career. I understand that discipline must be taken obviously for other reasons (mainly to not promote to under age youth,) but to ban a player for something that is essentially not enhancing him on a competitive level.

    Again, I am not saying that Gordon should not face some discipline, but to ban him over weed?

    Steroids/PEDs, and physically addicting drugs deserve the book IMO.

    Not a Browns fan at all, but man I think Gordon is an amazing WR.

  27. Ferdinand says: May 9, 2014 7:36 PM

    So – was Josh Gordon’s appearances on every national sportstalk program you can think of this week a PR push to influence the commissioner not to suspend him?

  28. enzasman says: May 9, 2014 7:37 PM

    Maybe they NFL could start the “THC league,” a remedial off season league, I’m sure there would be plenty of available starters.

  29. rsb06d says: May 9, 2014 7:38 PM

    Big dummy

  30. pastabelly says: May 9, 2014 7:39 PM

    Weed should be legal and this is ridiculous.

  31. s0merand0mguy says: May 9, 2014 7:40 PM

    Who is John Gordon?

  32. hbdbrowns33 says: May 9, 2014 7:40 PM

    This is an absolute stretch and I’m like 99% sure that I’m wrong but I think that this situation might be wrong or exaggerated. If Gordon and the Browns knew that he failed a test 2 weeks ago why was he so visible during that time? If he really knew he was in trouble why would he be all over TV and twitter. He tweeted a few times earlier today. If he really was in trouble why wouldn’t he be quiet? If Gordon did all of that and knew this was coming he is the dumbest man on the planet and has thrown millions of dollars away.

  33. Steve B says: May 9, 2014 7:41 PM

    Too bad. He’s young and will someday realize this is a life-altering mistake.

  34. hwould says: May 9, 2014 7:42 PM

    I’m sick right now. Damn Josh…

  35. iloveagoodnap says: May 9, 2014 7:44 PM

    Wow. As a bengals fan I hate the browns and it’s fun to laugh at the bafoonerey of their front office. But this is just sad and I feel for their fans who deserve way better.

  36. bick54 says: May 9, 2014 7:44 PM

    No sympathy here. Already been suspended once. 2nd time should be career-ending.

    Weed’s more important…it’s cool.

  37. dave91680 says: May 9, 2014 7:45 PM

    But remember everyone…marijuana is OK.
    No big deal…it’s hardly a drug…it’s not addictive.
    It doesn’t lead to harder/more dangerous drugs.
    Make it legal everywhere so we can all be stoners and sit at home and read PFT all day.

    C’mon any substance that prohibits a grown man from having a hard time choosing it and his work/dream/lively-hood is obviously very, very safe.

  38. smitty113 says: May 9, 2014 7:45 PM

    Grass and dedication are as far from one another as you get. How come someone winning millions in the lottery is celebrated but someone who works hard and is educated making alot of money is vilified and should give up his $

  39. canetic says: May 9, 2014 7:46 PM

    The level of complete irresponsibility is mind-boggling. This is what happens when you are coddled all your life.

  40. onereasonableman says: May 9, 2014 7:46 PM

    What a DELTA BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I can not believe this. I can’t even be happy as a Browns fan for 24 hours. SMH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. biggs13 says: May 9, 2014 7:46 PM

    It’s only weed.

  42. elrock7 says: May 9, 2014 7:51 PM

    Just another moron with the IQ level of a rock.

  43. stillers35 says: May 9, 2014 7:52 PM

    Why are people trying to make this about legalizing pot? The issue is for now it’s illegal and he knows that and continues to do it because he’s a moron.

  44. ballboy48 says: May 9, 2014 7:52 PM

    It’s only weed, but it’s the point. The NFL asks not to do it, and this kid, for some reason, just doesn’t get it. He single handedly is blowing his career. I hope he liked living the life for two years.

  45. elrock7 says: May 9, 2014 7:54 PM

    Yeah sure biggs13, its only weed. Until the NFL says its ok to use it, YOU SACRIFICE YOUR CAREER! Not rocket science.

  46. mungman69 says: May 9, 2014 8:01 PM

    Can’t Cleveland do anything right.?

  47. erock0129 says: May 9, 2014 8:03 PM

    I know it’s a BIG what if, but what if this IS NOT true?

  48. bensstinkyfingers says: May 9, 2014 8:09 PM

    Something doesn’t add up here. If the browns had any idea he would be suspended for the season why the hell wouldn’t they pick Watkins at#4? Hoping this is a bogus story, Things were going way to good for us browns fans, to feel excited and happy for 24 hrs. just wan’t going to happen. If this is true Gordon is an absolute knucklehead to even put himself in that position after last years troubles. WOW

  49. rukkus1 says: May 9, 2014 8:15 PM

    Can we quit crucifying people for smoking a plant?

  50. imthaschmidt says: May 9, 2014 8:25 PM

    What a way to kill the buzz in Browns town

  51. boyofzimmer says: May 9, 2014 8:27 PM

    NFL needs to stop worrying about pot. It’s not a performance enhancer and it’s slowly being decriminalized and legalized throughout the country. Big brother is nothing compared to the NFL!

  52. champunkind says: May 9, 2014 8:32 PM

    Looks like Jordan Cameron is going to be busy…

  53. gregbeau says: May 9, 2014 8:40 PM

    Doesn’t matter if was weed or peanut butter. Your employer has a rule that you are not to use it or face serious consequences involving suspension. You choose to use it anyway. As a result you lose your job.

    Forget any arguments about whether the rule is sensible or not. It is a clear rule that is a condition of employment. I have no sympathy with such a moron.

  54. murraysons says: May 9, 2014 8:42 PM

    Also fairly certain his name is Josh and not John

  55. wallydippins says: May 9, 2014 8:50 PM

    Whew! I thought this was going to be about Josh Gordon.

    It’s only John Gordon and I didn’t even know he was on the team.

  56. cguy7 says: May 9, 2014 8:51 PM

    Cut him. Can’t teach stupid. Any questions why we were trying to trade him?

  57. kwjsb says: May 9, 2014 8:53 PM

    Roethlisberger gets 6 games for sexual assault. Ray Rice gets nothing for aggravated assault. Josh Gordon gets 16 games for a failed random test (not like he got a DUI or anything). Seems logical.

  58. buffalodiehard says: May 9, 2014 8:56 PM

    We keep hearing he “faces a suspension”. Either he failed a drug test or didn’t. And if he did it’s either a year ban or it’s not right? Can someone handicap the chances he plays this year or something??

  59. vaughnjoe says: May 9, 2014 9:10 PM

    Marijauna or a kick butt NFL career?? Ooh thats a tough one… knucklehead!! see the problem is he listens to rap music. And thats part odF that culture. Youre not cool unless you smoke. Well Mr Gordon youve rolled your joint now smoke it and watch cartoons while the NFL roars past you.

  60. rikkyt00 says: May 9, 2014 9:15 PM

    Look, studies have shown (these days ) that 9% of weed smokers are “addicted ” to it. If it can stay in your system for 30 days it is part of your life for that time And as the days pass its either going to go away, or be replenished , yin yang laws of attraction etc. So if a young man has lotsa$, playing a game that is natural & easy to him ,full of testosterone=muscle mass. I can sympathize with him. I agree about all the peds hgh etc being TOTALLY worse than herb. Maybe its as simple as ganja makes Mr. Gordon feel good, kinda takes the edge off. The rhetoric i hear about herb & this issue in these comments are rather ignorant. Its not 1932 people. Society changes ,its 2014, u should get on board.

  61. vonkaiser2001 says: May 9, 2014 9:17 PM

    Can we please stop with the posters arguing that weed should be legal?! It’s not!! This is an nfl news and comment site. It’s against the rules of the labor agreement! The players voted on it. This is NOT a debate over how stupid the rule is. This should be a debate about how stupid Josh Gordon is. Everyone on here seems to forget this is a man who was kicked off his first college team for multiple failed drug tests. If that isn’t enough to straighten you out, let alone lead you to continue along the same path and failing as many as SIX drug test in the short time you’ve been a college or RICHLY PAID PROFESSIONAL, then you have a brain the size of a walnut and deserve to work on a roofing crew for $10 an hour. Smoke all the weed you want then…no one cares!!!

  62. brownsfan39 says: May 9, 2014 9:21 PM

    If Josh failed another drug test the Browns should cut him. I like him and thought that he would keep it together. If he was taking that chance then obviously he is selfish and not a team player. Maybe, hopefully this report is inaccurate but I doubt it.

  63. taron2in1 says: May 9, 2014 9:27 PM


  64. realfootballfan says: May 9, 2014 10:20 PM

    This is sad if true because this player is a rare talent at receiver. Weed isn’t that good to warrant this level of recklessness, and even so, I’m sure alot of guys around the league could tell him how to beat the test pretty easily.

  65. kingkornkahn says: May 9, 2014 11:00 PM

    What could have been……

    I don’t expect these guys to split the atom, but if he played football for another year or two before moving to Colorado he could afford more weed. More weed is more better, right?

  66. robgilman says: May 9, 2014 11:27 PM

    Regardless of all the reasons we all agree weed is not a big deal, here is the fact of the matter:

    Marijuana is illegal on a national level. The NFL is a corporate giant and it’s employees are subject to adhere to the voted on rules that say they cannot use marijuana, an illegal drug. There are lot’s of other Americans that must comply with these same rules, just to earn enough to eat and keep a roof over their head.

    The guy chose to risk it. He chose to smoke weed over a career that makes millions of dollars. That’s totally fine, it’s his choice. Just don’t feel bad for him. He chose what’s more important. We all are given choices. That one seems pretty easy to me but hey, not my life

  67. bearsoxass says: May 10, 2014 2:38 AM

    Sorry fans, shame on you Josh!

  68. coachbeck says: May 10, 2014 4:57 AM

    Everything in life going his way career wise. BUT he can’t love the right way. Probably best he didn’t get millions. He is one of those who would be broke in a. Few years .

  69. tablescrappy says: May 10, 2014 10:02 AM

    While marijuana isn’t chemically addictive, one can most definitely develop an emotional dependence on it. Seems clear that Gordon has.

    I want to see it legalized and regulated, but the choice was right in front of him and very clear. If he really did test positive, he’s going to pay for it. That doesn’t do anybody any good.

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