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Browns won’t let Josh Gordon play in CFL

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The question of whether the CFL would welcome suspended Browns receiver Josh Gordon is complicated, convoluted, and ultimately irrelevant.

As Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer said during Thursday’s PFT Live, the Browns won’t give Gordon permission to play in Canada.  A league source tells PFT that the Browns already have informed Gordon that he won’t be permitted to take his talents to Saskatoon.  Or anywhere else in Canada.

That should end it.

Even though it would give Gordon a better support structure and despite the fact that it seems unfair to prevent a guy whose contract has been tolled from playing football due to his suspension, Gordon won’t be playing in the CFL this year.

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87 Responses to “Browns won’t let Josh Gordon play in CFL”
  1. vicnocal says: Aug 28, 2014 1:11 PM

    Everything is negotiable.

  2. 8to80texansblog says: Aug 28, 2014 1:11 PM

    That’s stupid… This kid obviously needs some structure right now to stay on the straight and narrow and with his suspension the Browns will be able to give him none.

    The risk of him blowing another drug test while he sits at home doing nothing is far greater than his risk of injury.

  3. MikeisWise says: Aug 28, 2014 1:11 PM

    “No you can’t go play in the CFL. What are you, high?”

  4. The Steelers are Marching and the world cowers. The three rivers were made from your tears and we build boats. We build lots of boats. We walk beside pristine trophy cases and engraved gold. They say it's lonely at the top, but we sure like the view. says: Aug 28, 2014 1:11 PM

    Told you.

  5. sportsshuffle says: Aug 28, 2014 1:12 PM

    I assume the AFL is also out of the question as is the Indoor Football League (if it is still in operation.)

  6. buffaloisadumpsterandtheirfansaremorons says: Aug 28, 2014 1:12 PM

    He should breach his contract, force his release, play in the CFL then become a free agent next year when his suspension is over.

  7. dcapettini says: Aug 28, 2014 1:13 PM

    That seems so unfair. They won’t let him play in the NFL and won’t pay him while he is suspended, but they prevent him from obtaining employment elsewhere, even though there is no guarantee that he will ever be permitted to play in the NFL again. Is he allowed to work on a garbage truck? How can this be legal? There is something wrong with our laws if it is.

  8. edavidberg says: Aug 28, 2014 1:14 PM

    Browns are being too cautious. He would be a better player if he was allowed to play somewhere this year, plus the major injury risk is lower on wide outs than it is on other players.

    With that said, I think most teams would take this stance.

  9. clownsfan says: Aug 28, 2014 1:14 PM

    The fact that this moron even asked tells you he has absolutely no idea what’s goin on.

  10. bucrightoff says: Aug 28, 2014 1:15 PM

    Of course the Browns don’t want him to go, he might win a title in Canada. Can’t be bringing that “championship mentality” to Cleveland.

    And now he’ll be baked all year, ensuring his next suspension.

  11. bucsmightbegood says: Aug 28, 2014 1:16 PM

    The NFL got this one wrong.

  12. ringheadcrusher says: Aug 28, 2014 1:17 PM

    File this article under “No s**t, Sherlock.”

  13. metalman5150 says: Aug 28, 2014 1:17 PM

    The browns should do Josh Gordon better than this. Shame on the Browns. And shame on the nFl.

  14. mwatts1 says: Aug 28, 2014 1:18 PM

    The more that comes out, the more I believe Josh Gordon and his camp are a bunch of idiots. Hire new representation Josh!

  15. thelastpieceofcheese says: Aug 28, 2014 1:18 PM

    Prohibiting Josh from playing in the CFL is a clear sign that the Browns have added additional punishment from the NFL.

  16. kingokra says: Aug 28, 2014 1:20 PM

    Before posting, don’t forget that NFL law now supercedes U.S. laws. Rog laughs at the U.S. constitution. “I will tell you when and where you can work. Do you understand? Then I will return to judge the living and the dead.” So sayeth God-dell.

  17. mishmashmachine says: Aug 28, 2014 1:21 PM

    What will they do if he played with them anyway? Fine him? Release him? I don’t think so.

  18. MikeisWise says: Aug 28, 2014 1:21 PM

    If the risk of failing another drug test is higher than the risk of injury, he has some SERIOUS prioritizing/soul-searching to do. Wow

  19. ubepunkedagain says: Aug 28, 2014 1:21 PM

    For the slow people, this is just the precursor to a lawsuit against the NFL.

  20. chc4 says: Aug 28, 2014 1:22 PM

    All you people making the Browns and/or the NFL out to be the bad guys are clueless. Only one at fault here is Josh Gordon. He knows the rules. This ain’t his first time breaking them. Now he pays the piper.

  21. buckfigben says: Aug 28, 2014 1:22 PM

    I thought there was an NFL rule that prohibits a player from playing in the CFL while suspended. Browns can’t allow him.

    The old “ricky williams rule”

  22. thestrategyexpert says: Aug 28, 2014 1:22 PM

    I would have encouraged him to leave and try to help that other team win some football games.

  23. hilmsay says: Aug 28, 2014 1:23 PM

    SASKATOON SHOUT OUT – I’m there right now. No josh Gordon insight

  24. root4cleveland says: Aug 28, 2014 1:24 PM

    People say this kid needs structure?

    Did the structure help him make good choices at Baylor? No. Utah? No. Cleveland? No.

    I think what he needs to to live life for one year as a civilian who isn’t payed to play a sport. Let him mop floors and flop her whopper for one year and see how $18,000 tastes. Maybe that will make him realize the opportunity he has all but thrown away already.

    If I were the Brown’s I certainly wouldn’t let this guy risk injury playing for even the pee-wee league if I could help it. Any money he losses this year (due to HIS actions) they’ll be glad to reimburse if/when he ever returns to form in a Brown’s uniform.

  25. brownspower says: Aug 28, 2014 1:24 PM

    This whole “I want to play in Canada” and the Brown’s refusal is just part of Josh’s defense team building a case that the NFL is wrong and the suspension must be overturned by a court of law.
    The NFL cannot keep a man from earning a living!

  26. The Steelers are Marching and the world cowers. The three rivers were made from your tears and we build boats. We build lots of boats. We walk beside pristine trophy cases and engraved gold. They say it's lonely at the top, but we sure like the view. says: Aug 28, 2014 1:25 PM

    Light up that doobie and turn on NFL Network, Josh. It’s gonna be a looonnng season.

  27. celticsforever says: Aug 28, 2014 1:25 PM

    Irsay is laughing his are off right now. It’s a good thing he was only high on cocaine and driving with a dealers amount or cash. If he had smoked a joint at home he’d be banned for a year

  28. ashleyschafferbmw says: Aug 28, 2014 1:27 PM

    Good move by the browns, why would they give him the OK to play and risk a serious injury?

  29. kane337 says: Aug 28, 2014 1:27 PM

    NFL – Not Fair League

  30. slapmymonkey says: Aug 28, 2014 1:31 PM

    dcapettini says:

    Aug 28, 2014 1:13 PM

    Is he allowed to work on a garbage truck? How can this be legal? There is something wrong with our laws if it is.

    _____________
    Simple answer: it’s likely in terms and conditions of his contract. By signing the contact and accepting millions of dollars, he agreed to a prohibition from playing in the CFL, even under his current circumstance.

  31. skoobyfl says: Aug 28, 2014 1:31 PM

    Another fading star.

  32. fwippel says: Aug 28, 2014 1:33 PM

    If Gordon hops the border and suits up for the CFL, who’s going to stop him? The Canadian government?

  33. whodatnhollywood says: Aug 28, 2014 1:33 PM

    If a person is fired or suspended from one job, the former employers don’t have the right to prevent him from earning a living elsewhere~unless they are still paying him. Talk about ANTI-TRUST! I don’t trust the NFL~for nothing!

    If I were this dude, I’d abide by the NFL suspension, then challenge them to keep me from going to Canada. It will open a whole new can of worms that the NFL does not want opened.

    Go make your money dude! And get the help you need to bring more structure and discipline into your life. And most importantly, stay away from drugs and people of bad influence so you’re not constantly in this kinda mess!

    The future is your friend, not the people who put your short-spanned NFL career in jeopardy. Be wise.

  34. Eutaw's Finest says: Aug 28, 2014 1:34 PM

    You pro-CFL people are idiots…

    “Hey Josh, we are going to let you go play in Canada where you will have to learn an entire new system and risk possible injury, then next year come back and have to relearn our system, assuming you’re not suffering a long term injury. Oh and we won’t have anybody up there to keep an eye on you either.”

    Much better idea than keeping him in your own backyard, keeping an eye on him, keeping him the same system, and knowing he’s much less likely to risk injury. Why would the Brown’s do anything else? It would foolish at best.

  35. hjb99992013 says: Aug 28, 2014 1:35 PM

    Why not? It worked for Ricky Williams

    The weed laws here in Canada are pretty lax, and women are allowed to walk topless if they so desire, and we have free medicare

    The greatest place to live in the world if I may be so bold

  36. edwin0588 says: Aug 28, 2014 1:35 PM

    Considering the CFL has a rule that suspended NFL players are ineligible to play in the CFL (Ricky Williams rule) and Saskatoon doesn’t have a CFL team, this whole article is irrelevant

  37. The Steelers are Marching and the world cowers. The three rivers were made from your tears and we build boats. We build lots of boats. We walk beside pristine trophy cases and engraved gold. They say it's lonely at the top, but we sure like the view. says: Aug 28, 2014 1:37 PM

    “It’s not FAIR! I only violated the rules — agreed upon by both the league and the players — FOUR times! WAAAH! How could the NFL do this to ME!? WAAAH! How are there thousands of players that never test positive?! WAAAH!”

  38. vicnocal says: Aug 28, 2014 1:38 PM

    What’s more damaging to the NFL – Having one of their best players suspended for a whole year instead of being out there on the field thrilling the crowds who pay to see the best in the world perform at the highest level….or letting him smoke weed in his free time?

  39. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins says: Aug 28, 2014 1:38 PM

    Yes, telling a guy with substance abuse issues to just sit around and do nothing for a full year and somehow stay out of trouble despite having nothing productive to focus on is clearly the obvious solution here. You can always count on the Browns to make the logical choice.

  40. justintuckrule says: Aug 28, 2014 1:38 PM

    His lawsuit has only grown stronger. I hope it reaches a jury and they award him punitive damages.

  41. completefan says: Aug 28, 2014 1:48 PM

    BTW Ricky Williams, scored ONE touchdown (though it was a nice end-around). But that experiment didn’t quite work out.

  42. ilovefoolsball says: Aug 28, 2014 1:48 PM

    The NFL isn’t a babysitter if this guy wasn’t making millions of $$’s what would be taking care of him then?
    I get so sick of this talk about these people needing “structure” and a “support system”.
    They’re grown adults who lead a life more privileged than the majority of the world and yet they need more help than the average Schmoe on the street working a 9-5?

  43. jake1199 says: Aug 28, 2014 1:48 PM

    When did Saskatoon have a CFL team?

  44. yooperman says: Aug 28, 2014 1:51 PM

    This brings a whole new meaning to “refer madness”!

  45. sweetwillie66 says: Aug 28, 2014 1:51 PM

    the CFL has rules about this no NFL player suspended may play in Canada. Put in post-Ricky Williams.

  46. Getoffmylawn! says: Aug 28, 2014 1:53 PM

    Now watch him get hurt playing pick-up basketball and not be able to play next year either! It’s not like the Browns are even able to keep an eye on him here in their own back yard. The NFL made that clear years ago with Brett Favre. You have a substance abuse problem? Stay away from your football family who could support you and help you get straightened out. If he didn’t graduate college he could go back to school.

  47. spellmethis says: Aug 28, 2014 1:53 PM

    How difficult is it to understand that: 1) He violated a clear policy that was agreed to by the players in the last CBA that clearly outlines suspension periods per violation; 2) He is still under contract with the Browns, which in a nutshell prohibits him from playing another sport that would expose him to risk of injury unless the club makes an exception, the Browns, not the N; 3) It’s not in the Browns’ interest to make an exception and allow him to expose himself to injury just because he violated the policy and predictably was suspended accordingly; 4) The apparent “structure” of organized football Gordon is being denied with the suspension has clearly not helped up to this point; 5) Gordon is not being denied the right to make a living, he can go out and get any job that he didn’t agree not to be involved in per his contract. I could keep going but I don’t feel like putting together a Letterman top 10. Bottom line – The implications were known to him. If he has a problem, go get help, whatever it is it’s something deeper than addiction to a universally accepted non habit forming drug, get sown therapy for the underlying issue. Get a job like the vast majority of the population has and see if that reality reorganizes the obviously skewed priorities and self-entitlement.

  48. djshnooks says: Aug 28, 2014 1:55 PM

    CFL is a joke anyways.

  49. csszrr says: Aug 28, 2014 1:56 PM

    If I were running the Browns I would also bury Manziel. If the NFL wants to ban Gordon for the year than the NFL should not capitalize on the Browns viz Manziel and his jersey and ticket sales. I also wonder if Roger would like for his daughter to meet a Gordon type or a Rice type.

  50. pfu2 says: Aug 28, 2014 1:56 PM

    He doesn’t want to play in Canada, just strengthening his lawsuit vs. the nfl. C’mon Josh, fight this in court!

  51. dowhatifeellike says: Aug 28, 2014 1:56 PM

    He may be suspended but he’s still under contract. Can’t play in the CFL if under contract.

    I would think the Browns would want him to play somewhere to keep his play at a reasonable level. Not playing for a year isn’t going to make him any better.

    Until they can send players out on loans, though, it’s just not possible.

  52. phillytailgater says: Aug 28, 2014 1:57 PM

    In a related story, Ray Rice will be given permission to play in Canada for the first 2 games. #cbaproblems

  53. billswillnevermove says: Aug 28, 2014 1:58 PM

    Gordon will never play another down for the Browns again……..before the 1 year suspension is up, he will mess up again and the Browns will just end up cutting him.

  54. xmen1906 says: Aug 28, 2014 1:58 PM

    Why not? It worked for Ricky Williams

    The weed laws here in Canada are pretty lax, and women are allowed to walk topless if they so desire, and we have free medicare

    The greatest place to live in the world if I may be so bold

    ____________________________________

    All that is offset by the cold.

  55. gisellichek says: Aug 28, 2014 2:00 PM

    Play in Canada… What are they gonna do??? Void your Contact? Kick you out of the league??? Suspend you?… Tell em to go pound sand… take your chances in court… and keep playing in the great white north until the weed gets legalized…

  56. oldbrowndawg says: Aug 28, 2014 2:05 PM

    Good for the Browns! This pedantic little narcissist needs to learn once and for all that the planet doesn’t revolve around him. Some sports commentators (most notably Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland) have blamed everybody from Ray Farmer, to Mike Pettine, to the NFL, to the Players’ Association, to George Bush (who’s to blame for EVERYTHING in the world). They only left out the main character who deserves the lion’s share of the blame: Josh Gordon. He was given chance after chance after chance and in return for that he screwed the entire Browns’ organization (including his teammates and the fans) by his immature, “me, me, me” attitude and now he expects the Browns to let him play football elsewhere this year? No sir! Good for Ray Farmer. These dudes can vote for president at age 18 but at age 23 they’re still “kids” who need constant babying and round-the-clock monitoring. Bull!

  57. horsepedlr says: Aug 28, 2014 2:06 PM

    if he goes to cfl then where is the penality? he gets to still play and gets paid. so why suspend him in the first place. because that whats suspension is for to punish him!!! not to reward him

  58. texansdan says: Aug 28, 2014 2:07 PM

    He’s not prohibited from getting a job, only from playing football or any similar. He can go get a job anywhere else–everyone complaining about him not being allowed to get a job and have a livelihood is overreacting. Let him mop some floors or work at a shoe store for a while, maybe then he’ll realize how good he had it. Might straighten him out.

  59. sactogary says: Aug 28, 2014 2:08 PM

    justintuckrule says: Aug 28, 2014 1:38 PM :: His lawsuit has only grown stronger. I hope it reaches a jury and they award him punitive damages.
    ——————————–
    There are no punitive damages for enforcing a contract.

  60. beattention says: Aug 28, 2014 2:09 PM

    Those that condone players breaking the rules are such as stupid.

  61. cfeeley52 says: Aug 28, 2014 2:10 PM

    whodatnhollywood says:
    Aug 28, 2014 1:33 PM
    If a person is fired or suspended from one job, the former employers don’t have the right to prevent him from earning a living elsewhere~unless they are still paying him. Talk about ANTI-TRUST! I don’t trust the NFL~for nothing!
    —————————————-
    They do have that right if they get it in the contract that employee signed. It’s called a non-compete and companies use it all the time, especially if that employee has proprietary knowledge about a product or process they could share with the competition. This exact situation wouldn’t apply to Josh Gordon, but i’m just making a point that we as fans have no idea what the fine print is his contract says…

  62. youreinthejunglebaby says: Aug 28, 2014 2:12 PM

    But the Clowns moving to the CFL is still on the table, right? Fingers crossed.

  63. spellmethis says: Aug 28, 2014 2:17 PM

    So many jailhouse lawyers.

  64. crumpledstiltskin says: Aug 28, 2014 2:25 PM

    He has no intention of playing in the CFL. He needs to show irreparable harm by having the Browns block his request. Once done, an injunction can be filed show that harm has done although he has tried everything. He can then play while the lawsuit is settled. Expect the next PFT Gordon post to announce his lawsuit.

  65. pete2112 says: Aug 28, 2014 2:26 PM

    I sure hope we get a press release from Josh telling us how disappointed he is with Cleveland’s decision and discretion in not to allowing him play in the CFL. Don’t do the crime if you don’t want to do the time.

  66. thestrategyexpert says: Aug 28, 2014 2:26 PM

    I’m not pro-CFL as much as I’m pro-“do what you can to help others in need”. The game of football is about winning and there’s nothing wrong with Calgary asking for help to be diligent in their own drive to achieve football success for their team and their community. Josh Gordon is a football player that is uniquely capable of helping them and he is not able to help anybody where he is at now. It’s a Canadian league and that team has honored America by summoning a request for one of America’s finest players to help them with their quest. It is an honorable and fitting match to lend a hand. He understands the risks of injury and what personal cost that could mean for him, however his passion to help people win at football trumps that concern. I say let the history books show that this year it was Calgary’s destiny to win the championship, partly because Josh Gordon was there for them to fill a need when they asked for the help from an ally.

  67. riders008 says: Aug 28, 2014 2:38 PM

    Hey steelers marching on tears in…whatever ur name is…..u guys have two running backs with a dope problem too….

  68. rajbais says: Aug 28, 2014 2:43 PM

    It’s all about injury risk and nothing more than that.

  69. bucsorbust says: Aug 28, 2014 3:00 PM

    Brown should get two, not one bed in a rehab clinic for the whole year. One for himself, and one for the imaginary figure that refuses to let Josh blame himself. He needs to stay there the whole time, and come back clean and in shape.

    This isn’t that hard.

  70. honkerdawg says: Aug 28, 2014 3:11 PM

    Maybe Gordon ought to take the year off and go into rehab; oh that’s right he doesn’t have a drug problem does he. He’ll wind up getting stoned and wrapping his car around a tree or just killing somebody but he doesn’t have a drug problem

  71. steves11 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:12 PM

    “The risk of him blowing another drug test while he sits at home doing nothing is far greater than his risk of injury.”

    I know this is a unique concept, but he could always go out and get a real job so he won’t have to “sit at home” during his suspension.

  72. bengalskuta82 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:18 PM

    I know everyones talking about Gordon but if he were to play this season, who would he be catching balls from? Whos the QB for the Clowns and do they have one?
    LOL!

  73. Stiller43 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:24 PM

    Even though it would give Gordon a better support structure and despite the fact that it seems unfair to prevent a guy whose contract has been tolled from playing football due to his suspension, Gordon won’t be playing in the CFL this year.
    _________________________________

    Support structure? DONT DO DRUGS, it’s simple. Hell, take up drinking – the NFL rules don’t prohibit that.

    Unfair? HE BROUGHT THE SUSPENSION ON HIMSELF. It’s UNFAIR to the Browns that they lose a player of his caliber because he chose to break league rules (dumb rules, still rules) for the 2434th time.

  74. kwjsb says: Aug 28, 2014 3:24 PM

    I am not sure, under US employment law, an employer can suspend an employee for an entire year with out pay then prevent him from earning a livelihood. Are they paying his salary ?

  75. mightbegoingtohellforthis says: Aug 28, 2014 3:36 PM

    He doesn’t really want to play in Canada. He is building his court case.

  76. jayniner says: Aug 28, 2014 3:48 PM

    The Browns: If we can’t have him, no one can….muahahahahahahaha

  77. rcali says: Aug 28, 2014 3:54 PM

    Stop it with this “Support Structure” coming from the team. That’s what the medical clinics are for. FYI, players are going out and enjoying there money….even during the season and that doesn’t sound like a place where he needs to be. Dude is not 16 years old.

  78. ducksk says: Aug 28, 2014 4:03 PM

    Josh, your done. My bet in Vegas is you don’t stay off the weed. Good luck pot head. And good riddens.

  79. kcflake says: Aug 28, 2014 4:08 PM

    It doesn’t seem right to not allow Gordon to play in the CFL for the season. Lots of time on his hands now to do “Other Things’.

  80. mdippong26 says: Aug 28, 2014 4:18 PM

    Correction: The NFL won’t let Gordon play in the CFL. It’s their rule, not the Browns’ rule.

    It would be dumb for the Browns to let Gordon play in the CFL because they would also lose Gordon as a player for when he comes back into the league.

  81. samsonight1010 says: Aug 28, 2014 5:15 PM

    His year off at Baylor didn’t seem to hurt him much, he doesn’t need minor league football to keep him in shape, he needs major league therapy to get clean

  82. mark4steelers says: Aug 28, 2014 6:15 PM

    He is going to be a complete washed up, has been, 1 yr wonder. His monumental failure coupled with that wasted pick on the “wanna-be, No-Chance-In-Hell” QB sets the high on the Browns AFC North hopes firmly at the bottom. Sorry Browns fans :o(

  83. wiseone50 says: Aug 28, 2014 6:18 PM

    He has no one to blame but himself. What should the Browns do, hire someone to hold this idiots hand?

    I do blame the NFL for FINALLY making their decision 4 months later. They punished the Browns even more than they had to by waiting so long. Definitely a bias there!!

  84. doctorbarr says: Aug 28, 2014 7:31 PM

    Kinda of a weird situation. Technically banned from the NFL, but can be controlled by a team. Interesting. I would ignore it and play in the CFL. Make the NFL prove their case that he is not in the NFL, but is still controlled by the NFL.

  85. excessivedrinking says: Aug 28, 2014 7:31 PM

    Yet another double digit loss season is on the horizon. Guaranteed.

  86. wishingtonredslur says: Aug 28, 2014 8:39 PM

    Convicted felons shouldn’t even be allowed to cross my border.

  87. dretwann says: Aug 28, 2014 9:10 PM

    I don’t understand. Does the contract he has with the Browns specifically prevent him from playing there? I mean, he’s not gonna be paid by the Browns during this suspension so you can argue for a year he is unemployed. Don’t every unemployed person have a right to take their talents and skills to earn maximum income? What will happen if he went anyway?

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