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Decision on Josh Gordon lawsuit coming soon

Gordon Getty Images

Five days ago, the NFL suspended Browns receiver Josh Gordon for the entire 2014 season.  Within the next day or two, a decision will be made regarding whether Gordon will challenge the suspension via the court system.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Gordon’s legal team plans to reach a conclusion in the immediate future.  If suit is filed, expect it to come swiftly — and to include a motion for what the law calls a preliminary injunction.

Identical to the move that blocked the StarCaps suspensions for months even though the players ultimately failed to secure a court order overturning the outcome of the internal appeal, Gordon would ask a judge to prevent the NFL from implementing the suspension until the case ends.

If it happens, it will be a tall order.  Courts routinely consider various factors when deciding whether to freeze the status quo in place until a lawsuit ends.  Key considerations include a showing that the player will suffer irreparable harm if he later wins the case, since he can’t go back and play the games he missed, along proof that the player has a strong likelihood of eventually securing a victory.

It won’t be easy for Gordon, unless his legal team finds an obscure Ohio law that the NFL’s substance-abuse policy and testing program violates.  Still, even if there’s a slim chance of Gordon delaying the suspension via the court system, not spinning the Wheel of Wapner guarantees a Blutarskiesque outcome.

Then again, suing could make it harder to persuade the NFL to move quickly and favorably when Gordon applies for reinstatement.  That’s a real consider for Gordon; with plenty of discretion available when the time comes to determine whether he’s cleared to return early in the 2015 offseason, angering the league could delay a green light.

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68 Responses to “Decision on Josh Gordon lawsuit coming soon”
  1. jeffnfl says: Sep 1, 2014 4:49 PM

    #FreeJoshGordon

  2. lifesuckshereinloserville says: Sep 1, 2014 4:52 PM

    Excuse me, I have to go pack a bowl.

  3. jeremycrowhurst says: Sep 1, 2014 4:54 PM

    The decision has already been made. Lawyers for both sides have doubtless been spending the whole weekend preparing their paperwork, which will be filed at the start of business tomorrow morning.

    He’s got nothing to lose here. Delaying the suspension by a year, and by staying out of trouble (and pot-smoke filled rooms) it increases the chances that he can negotiate a lesser suspension for 2015.

  4. jayniner says: Sep 1, 2014 4:55 PM

    Just remember that while you’re out for an entire 12 months, Ray Rice kicked the crap out of fiance, knocked her unconscious and only got 2 games.

    Stew on that for a year.

  5. snakeskinsoul says: Sep 1, 2014 4:56 PM

    with plenty of discretion available when the time comes to determine whether he’s cleared to return early in the 2015 offseason, angering the league could delay a green light….

    REALLY? THAT would fall under RETALIATION and would also not be seen in a positive legal light.

    His eventual suspension and reinstatement would have to be based on his current state of sobriety according to NFL testing…NOT on if Goodell gets his panties in a bunch over a law suit.

  6. RegisHawk says: Sep 1, 2014 4:57 PM

    They must be billing by the hour…

    “It’ll be just a few more days…”

  7. warhammer420 says: Sep 1, 2014 4:58 PM

    We’re rooting for you! #FreeJoshGordon

  8. turnipthedragonknight says: Sep 1, 2014 4:59 PM

    #FreeFlashGordon I could use him on my fantasy team!

  9. beeronthefridge says: Sep 1, 2014 5:01 PM

    Sue Josh sue. Let’s convince a judge you are not a repeat offender.

  10. tralfaz1127 says: Sep 1, 2014 5:04 PM

    Quit writing about your poster child. Find a new topic. Go away weedhead.

  11. ilovefoolsball says: Sep 1, 2014 5:05 PM

    Oh quit the ridiculous freeJoshGordon crap.

    I understand that marijuana is legal in two states and should probably be legal in the entire country however if I was getting paid millions of dollars to play a game I would be ok with giving up any number of recreational activities to ensure that I would be able to retire at the ripe old age of 35.

    Dude was given multiple opportunities to stop screwing up and he blew every one of them.

    Please, tell me more about the “support system” that he needs.

  12. 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: Sep 1, 2014 5:05 PM

    How quick folks forget what they agreed to on paper.

  13. jdkshehdjxud says: Sep 1, 2014 5:11 PM

    I don’t think getting the NFL to act quickly in reinstating Gordon is a huge concern given the time it took to announce his suspension.

  14. bensstinkyfingers says: Sep 1, 2014 5:11 PM

    ^^ Free Josh Gordon!!! His drug testing porcedures violate Ohio state law regarding positive negative over/ under . Ohio Labor Laws will supercede the NFL ruling, as Gordon is n Ohio worker paying state tax , and works under State laws. Josh will play by week 2.Book it!!!

  15. don2074978 says: Sep 1, 2014 5:12 PM

    He can’t get the games back but he can get paid for them if he wins

  16. deathonwings410 says: Sep 1, 2014 5:16 PM

    #FreeJoshGordon #LegalizeIt from a Ravens fan

  17. 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: Sep 1, 2014 5:19 PM

    bensstinkyfingers says:
    Sep 1, 2014 5:11 PM
    ^^ Free Josh Gordon!!! His drug testing porcedures violate Ohio state law regarding positive negative over/ under . Ohio Labor Laws will supercede the NFL ruling, as Gordon is n Ohio worker paying state tax , and works under State laws. Josh will play by week 2.Book it!!!
    ____________________________

    The NFL has their own laws, funny guy. Laws that both the players and owners agreed on. Every player knows the deal. That’s why you see thousands of them come and go without ever failing a test. Then there’s this fool who fails four. No sympathy.

  18. pfu2 says: Sep 1, 2014 5:21 PM

    He never hurt anyone, free him!

  19. clownsfan says: Sep 1, 2014 5:22 PM

    He needs to cut the BS & take his punishment. His own actions put him in this position. Shut up. Stay clean. Take your lumps. Move on.

    GO BROWNS!!

  20. thetruthcampaign says: Sep 1, 2014 5:23 PM

    So, should I get him off the waiver wire, or not?

  21. camdenyard says: Sep 1, 2014 5:31 PM

    Here’s a novel idea – staop smoking dope and driving under the influence. See? It’s easy.

  22. niles6590 says: Sep 1, 2014 5:32 PM

    Yes.they did agree to it on paper…and that’s probably going to be part of his argument. That part of the CBA states a decision regarding an appeal must be made within a reasonsble amount of time. Three weeks is not reasonable…murder deliberations take less than that!! The hearing officer took too long to render his decision and now a full year takes him to just before the start of the ’15 regular season…no OTA’s or training camp. Had the decision been made earlier, Gordon has most of camp and pre-season games to prepare. By dragging their feet, the league is essentially punishing Gordon and more importantly, the Browns, for more than 1 calendar year…which isn’t right no matter who you root for.

  23. xinellum says: Sep 1, 2014 5:35 PM

    Hey, if it gets you some time. It worked for A-Roid and he got to finish last season. Those lousy Browns QBs need all the help they can get. With the arm strength Manziel showed he has a rough time throwing up. Got it, THROWING up. Okay, he’s as weak as my jokes.

  24. spellmethis says: Sep 1, 2014 5:38 PM

    The issue with the league potentially delaying reinstatement isn’t that they’d keep him suspended into a second season. Rather, the suspension on paper is for one full calendar year but the usual practice is to reinstate after the conclusion of the suspended for season. If the league wanted to drag it’s feet it could wait until that calendar year is up, forcing Gordon to miss next year’s preseason. He’d be coming back rusty from a year off and have to knock that rust off in regular season games rather than OTAs, training camp, and preseason games.

  25. oldlthrneck says: Sep 1, 2014 5:41 PM

    He is a represented employee. The labor agreement approved and entered into by the players and owners, trumps the state and federal labor laws. I have absolutely no sympathy for him. He made choices and now doesn’t want to live with the consequences of those choices. For all of you ranting about Ray Rice and whether it should be legal or not, that all is totally irrelevant. As a condition of employment he agreed not to use drugs or allow drugs to enter his system. Time to man up. He screwed up and no it’s time to pay the piper.

  26. realityonetwo says: Sep 1, 2014 5:49 PM

    Just prolonging the stupidity…

  27. bsizemore68 says: Sep 1, 2014 5:55 PM

    Got to be a bunch of drug heads on this blog, you guys are not helping him stand up and be a man and do his time, then his actions tell us a lot about him, for his future in the NFL he will be on thin ice unless he man up. Bill

  28. houndofthebaskervols says: Sep 1, 2014 5:59 PM

    Good luck Josh, the league is out of control with this crap. They need to be slapped senseless and instructed to stay out of players lives and livelihoods.

  29. realskipbayless says: Sep 1, 2014 6:01 PM

    Repeat offender or not it still isn’t worse than striking a woman. Gordon should only get 2 games and Rice should at the very least get half a year.

  30. pastabelly says: Sep 1, 2014 6:02 PM

    I think our wonderful commish realized how stupid it was suspending the wife beater for 2 games and the guy who enjoys his weed for a whole season. Weed will eventually be legalized. I’d be willing to bet that wife beating will only be legalized in certain counties in central Florida and all of Mississippi.

  31. denverdude7 says: Sep 1, 2014 6:10 PM

    Grow up Gordon.

    Face it… you screwed up. Blame everybody except the man in the mirror.

    SMH…

  32. steelers4385 says: Sep 1, 2014 6:16 PM

    (Sigh). Its just pot. Good lord.

  33. phillyfinsfan says: Sep 1, 2014 6:28 PM

    Has Roger GODdell lost his mind? I thought the NFL is now being driven by fantasy football (which is really illegal gambling). We get to see more (much more) illegal contact penalties and no Josh Gordon to run up the score for fantasy fanatics this season? The guy barely failed one of his two urine samples. I think Roger may be toking.

  34. sportsfan18 says: Sep 1, 2014 6:32 PM

    Josh should be out a year. He made a CHOICE.

    Oh, Rice should be out of the league… see, that would make Josh’s one yr much better…

  35. mymanmccoy says: Sep 1, 2014 6:32 PM

    Wow, a room full of filthy attorneys looking for an “obscure” Ohio law? No, say it ain’t so.

  36. corky2141 says: Sep 1, 2014 6:33 PM

    So can anyone who gets suspended pull this maneuver out after their agreed punishment is given out cause they don’t think it’s fair to them?

  37. 2manyconcussions says: Sep 1, 2014 6:34 PM

    Why bother. The Browns are going nowhere this season, so now is the time to take your medicine. The best a lawsuit will due is delay the punishment. Whining will not get it done.

  38. greengoldandbold says: Sep 1, 2014 6:35 PM

    Even though “it’s just pot”, it’s still against NFL policy. This isn’t a situation where the Tail will Wag the Dog. Not in any way shape or form. I’m more interested in what the punishment is for Jim Irsay. It better be firm or holy hell will break out. 4 games and $100,000 fine is the minimum in my opinion. If I were making the ruling it would be 2 month immediate suspension (no team contact or attendance) and $500,000.

  39. drunkwino says: Sep 1, 2014 7:04 PM

    The labor agreement approved and entered into by the players and owners, trumps the state and federal labor laws.
    ————
    That my be one of the most ridiculous things ever written here. That’s basically saying a professional assassin shouldn’t be arrested for murder if he and a third-party signed an agreement. Entering into an agreement that actual real law says isn’t allowed means that part of the agreement is void.

    Hurr durr, let’s all grovel at the feet of our weathy owners and obey their whims as law, hurr durr, the middle-class is an abomination that should give all their money to the most weathy, hurr durr, we only have the rights our wealthy masters give us hurr durr, illegal agreements are legal so long as the favor the rich. Then you wonder why you can barely live paycheck to paycheck. Stop destroying my country, renfield todies.

  40. brownsmakemecrazy says: Sep 1, 2014 7:05 PM

    Goodell didn’t seem to care about what the CBA said when it came to compensating Jimmy Graham as a WR like he should have been.

  41. excessivedrinking says: Sep 1, 2014 7:05 PM

    Guilty as charged

  42. brownsmakemecrazy says: Sep 1, 2014 7:08 PM

    It’s funny how none of the other leagues like MLB, NBA, or the NHL have these issues with their players.

    It’s probably because they don’t have stupid personal conduct policies like the NFL.

  43. vikingsvoice says: Sep 1, 2014 7:26 PM

    Even Ray Rice is shaking his head.

  44. HFS Richard says: Sep 1, 2014 7:39 PM

    Honest to god question here. Does his DWI have anything to do with his 1 year suspension? can he still have an additional suspension from that when he comes back?

    No offense to many on here who see an injustice, but lets not act like Josh Gordon is an angel. He got a DWI while he was preparing for training camp/his suspension hearing, somewhere along the lines he definitely needs help.

  45. ducksk says: Sep 1, 2014 7:45 PM

    Pot head. Signed deal and is in union. He is both stoned and stupid. My bet his he don’t stay off the herb as in his union and league rules and he’s gone. Fire up josh, we won’t even notice or care. Idiot

  46. shockhawk12 says: Sep 1, 2014 8:01 PM

    My God- These entitled spoiled brats just can’t take their punishment like men..If you break the rules (whether you agree with them or not) then just shut up and do your time.
    They have an appeal process and you lost…It’s over Dude- It’s not about legal manuvering..You knew the rules, and got caught SEVERAL TIMES… How stupid and spoiled are you, you little punk..Too dumb to honor and respect the NFL that makes you bratty children rich- Shut-up and go away junior..I’m disgusted by your type- Crybabies

  47. jredshoes says: Sep 1, 2014 8:08 PM

    What amazes me is alcohol is legal in all 50 states yet people get suspended for DUIs in the HFL. If you have multiple DUIs then you’re gone a year. The point isn’t the pot, it’s the fact he got a DWI (or two). But the facts don’t help the stoners agenda

  48. nickster31 says: Sep 1, 2014 8:08 PM

    Gordon is suspended for the year, but can ASK for reinstatement at the end of this season. That would mean, stay out of trouble and you are back after the Super Bowl.
    IF he contests this, he will likely play 3-4 games before his suspension. That would mean he would be suspended until Week 5 NEXT YEAR, and he would miss the entire off season.

  49. jerrysglassescleaner says: Sep 1, 2014 8:15 PM

    Free Josh Gordon now!

  50. tanstewie says: Sep 1, 2014 8:22 PM

    Under Ohio law (Ohio Code 123:1-76-07), only “specimens which test negative on the initial test or negative on the confirmatory test shall be reported as negative.”  here’s your “obscure Ohio law”. The CBA conflicts with Ohio law. Gordon will file for a tro tomorrow

  51. youreinthejunglebaby says: Sep 1, 2014 8:54 PM

    Like an ex-gf that just won’t get the message.

  52. stew48 says: Sep 1, 2014 9:10 PM

    To the Ohio law quoter: I don’t think what you stated has anything to do in any way with whether the CBA conflicts with Ohio law. You didn’t even finish the appropriate words regarding a positive test. And, had you done that, it would not have added anything to the conflict argument. If I’m betting, the conflict argument will draw smiles and guffaws when presented.

  53. purpleppleeaters says: Sep 1, 2014 9:27 PM

    Dude, you’re a pothead.
    At the very least, you should OWN that.

  54. brownsmakemecrazy says: Sep 1, 2014 9:46 PM

    Simple solution to NFL problems.

    Goodell go sit in the corner. You are no longer the judge and jury. That’s what the court system is for. No more weed or domestic violence suspensions. That’s what the courts are for to enforce the LAWS of this country. You have no say in these types of rules for your game. These things have nothing to do with the game or business of football.
    Second, you and your greedy owners take public money to build your Stadiums, guess what you have no say in blacking out games.

    Congress needs to grow a pair and nail these jerks to the wall and give them a stern talking to.

  55. browns11 says: Sep 1, 2014 9:53 PM

    While I like Gordon’s skill, I see him using this as a temporary delay to get his credit for this year. thus speeding up the time before he can become a free agent. As it stands, his rookie contract will be extended a year. In order to get paid on a second contract he needs to play for a portion of this season. Again, it’s all about Gordon rather than the team or the league again.

  56. packmanfan says: Sep 1, 2014 10:02 PM

    He broke the law by smoking pot (Which I think should be legal) and yet he is asking the courts to overturn the NFL’s descion to let him play?
    Yeah. Good luck with that.

  57. brownsmakemecrazy says: Sep 1, 2014 10:04 PM

    Hey Goodell why don’t you fix your product like the play on the field. There are only 4 games out of 16 that are worth watching:

    Green Bay @ Seattle
    Cincinnati @ Baltimore
    Indy @ Denver
    New Orleans @ Atlanta

  58. davikes says: Sep 1, 2014 10:55 PM

    Yes Gordon was stupid, but Ohio law is pretty clear. Any set of A&B samples that has one or the other test negative shall be reported as negative. As it appears Gordon had one test negative and the other was positive, he seems to have a pretty strong legal case. State law trumps a business contract every time.

    And the judge was probably elected by a highly pro-union constituency, and a jury would probably have a pro-employee bias. The NFL should have compromised.

  59. hotpapa63 says: Sep 1, 2014 11:28 PM

    I cannot believe how much support there is for this Loser! Please take all your legal garb about how this guy is being done wrong by the NFL and go suck on a lime. This fool just don’t get it, he has been given numerous chances since college to get himself in line. Now it’s time to pay the price so Homers do yourself a favor and shut up!

  60. cavington says: Sep 1, 2014 11:40 PM

    Is he suing himself for being an idiot?

  61. cavington says: Sep 1, 2014 11:41 PM

    Plus the Browns should be suing themselves for being dumb and not trading him last year.

  62. yardpenalty says: Sep 2, 2014 12:02 AM

    If the NFL wants to argue about Gordon’s character his lawyers should argue Rogers!

    Wiki: On October 9, 2012, four weeks and three days after an internal appeals panel vacated suspensions imposed on Vilma, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, Saints defensive end Will Smith, and free-agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove, the league again suspended the four Saints players. Vilma’s suspension remained as the entire 2012 season, although he was allowed to keep his paychecks for the first six weeks of the season when he was on the Physically Unable to Perform list.[15] The suspensions were then reviewed by former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, and on December 11, 2012, overruled Roger Goodell’s punishments and vacated the suspensions of all the players involved in the alleged bounty scandal. Vilma said he would continue to pursue his defamation lawsuit against commissioner Goodell.[16] That case was ultimately dismissed in January 2013; the court was critical of how the NFL handled the matter but found that the claims were preempted.[17]

    Vilma ultimately played in 11 games during the 2012 season.

  63. oldcracker says: Sep 2, 2014 1:06 AM

    Despite the laws on marijuana, it was the employer’s (NFL) policies on it that he violated. If you or I did that, our employer has the right to suspend or fire us.

    However, with the mishandling of the test results, those results should’ve been tossed out, and everyone moved on.

    If you know drunks or stoners, you know they will keep messing up until they hit bottom, or are pushing up daisies.

    This suspension should be ruled null and void. Get him for his other violations in Ohio and N. Carolins.

  64. poesports says: Sep 2, 2014 1:15 AM

    Gordon should be livid at his own union reps who agreed to such a stupid and harsh penalty. Suspended a whole year for pot regardless of how many times is just absurd but that’s what his side negotiated. Time for some new counsel managing these agreements.

  65. pinwilly6 says: Sep 2, 2014 8:54 AM

    I can’t figure people out. This is not his first offense its his 3rd why is he still in the league

  66. melikefootball says: Sep 2, 2014 8:55 AM

    You want to clean up the NFL get rid of these type players, you want to be the NBA keep him.

  67. johnodocks says: Sep 2, 2014 9:17 AM

    The DWI charge has nothing to do with the suspension. Until that charge is processed through the courts, with the trial set for November, the NFL will do nothing.

  68. thesteelhurtin says: Sep 2, 2014 1:15 PM

    and anything other then a not guilty will get more time added to his suspension a guilty could get him a lifetime ban.

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