Before a decision can be made on whether Browns receiver Josh Gordon will miss at least a full calendar year, an appeal hearing must be held. Before an appeal hearing can be held, it must be scheduled.
That hasn’t happened, yet. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, an appeal hearing has not yet been placed on the calendar.
From the Browns’ perspective, time is of the essence. If Gordon eventually will miss at least a full year, the suspension will begin immediately. The sooner it starts, the sooner it’s done — and the sooner Gordon can return. If a ruling comes not long before Week One of the 2014 regular season, Gordon would miss some if not all of the preparations for the 2015 regular season.
Pending a final decision via the arbitration process, settlement remains a possibility. Last year, Gordon’s proposed four-game suspension was resolved with an agreed two-game ban. While that could happen now, no talks have occurred to date on a possible deal. It’s unclear whether the NFL would be inclined to agree to something less than a one-year suspension, or whether Gordon and the NFLPA would accept a significant suspension in lieu of presenting whatever arguments Gordon may have on appeal.