Now that the NFL has suspended receiver Josh Gordon for the 2014 regular season (and, if the substance-abuse policy is applied as written, a full calendar year), the question becomes whether Gordon will continue to fight the ban.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, all options currently are on the table, including legal action.
Any lawsuit would face an immediate and aggressive challenge from the NFL under the Federal Arbitration Act, which requires courts to respect the outcome of private litigation. Only in rare circumstances can a court throw out the results of a private arbitration procedure, and the standard for scuttling the outcome is high.
Gordon’s best bet could be to fashion a plausible legal theory and attempt to secure a so-called “preliminary injunction,” which would prevent the NFL from implementing the suspension until the litigation concludes. Former Vikings defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams successfully delayed, but failed to defeat, a suspension in the StarCaps case.
If litigation is going to be filed, it needs to be filed soon. At this point, there’s a chance it will be.