Word emerged in May that Browns receiver Josh Gordon faces a one-year suspension under the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. Word has now emerged that Gordon’s appeal hearing is set for August 1.
Via Adam Schefter of ESPN, that’s when Gordon will travel to New York for the judge-jury-executioner session with the Commissioner’s designee. A ruling thereafter will be issued, and the ruling will be final.
It remains possible that the NFL and Gordon’s camp will negotiate a reduced suspension. Last year, a proposed four-game suspension for Gordon became a two-game suspension. Also, a potential one-year suspension for Broncos linebacker Von Miller was reduced to six games, based on (reportedly) evidence that the sample collector was in cahoots with Miller.
For both Gordon and the Browns, time is of the essence. A one-year ban would start immediately, keeping Gordon away from the team for 365 days. The later it starts in 2014, the later he’ll be available to prepare for the 2015 season, when based on recent trends the Browns may have both a new head coach and a new G.M.
But the league moves at its own speed on matters of this nature. For partial-season suspensions, it’s not as big of an issue. For the Browns and Gordon, the lag could make it much harder for him to be ready to go if/when he’s reinstated in 2015.