No Josh Gordon settlement talks, yet


Browns receiver Josh Gordon’s suspension will last for a full calendar year or not at all, if his appeal eventually is resolved with a ruling from hearing officer Harold Henderson.  If the NFL and NFLPA get together and craft a settlement, Gordon’s suspension could last for less than a calendar year.

Even if the suspension is reduced to 15 games, that would allow Gordon to rejoin the team for the 2015 offseason.  As it now stands, a full-year suspension would keep Gordon away from the team until, at the earliest, the brink of the 2015 preseason.

For the suspension to be anything other than all or nothing, an agreement has to be reached.  Before an agreement can be reached, negotiations must occur.  Per a source with knowledge of the situation, that hasn’t happened yet.

With three days passed since the hearing ended and a ruling required with a “reasonable time,” time is of the essence when it comes to the question of whether a settlement can be reached.

52 responses to “No Josh Gordon settlement talks, yet

  1. confused… why couldn’t during the ‘hearing’ which according to media reports, lasted 10 hours on Friday and carried over into Monday for a few hours.

    I would have thought that …’negotiations’ were taking place then ? !

  2. The NFL also has no options that won’t get met with scrutiny from others due to a lack of having all their suits in a row. This article is missing a picture of ducks wearing suits.

  3. If everything I’ve read and that Ohio Law will supersede the marijuana testing procedure. Josh Gordon, will play the entire 2014 season and the NFL will be basically powerless to stop it.

    It is time the NFL got with the NFLPA and made some changes to the drug testing procedure and the marijuana threshold. The letter of Memorandum on marijuana testing (in line with State’s guidelines) and metabolite threshold. Will eventually be called the Gordon Letter.

  4. The problem for the Browns is that if he misses any part of the season it hurts their already slim chances of ending their 10+ loss streak. Also if he is going to miss time it might be best for the team if he misses the entire year, then this season doesnt count on his contract and they could get him back next year with a full year and with the extra contract time.

    That said I think he can legitimately make a case to beat this last failure.

  5. Just give him the year and lets move on. I do not agree one bit with the punishment, but it’s in the CBA in black and white. Change it next time around players!! Maybe make domestic violence a stiffer 1st time punishment while we at it..

  6. Josh Gordon WILL play the majority of games THIS year. If the hearing officer issues a suspension (lets say 8-10 games) then Gordon’s lawyers instantly file suit in Cuyahoga County. Yes, he has every legal right to file such action. They will ask for a TRO and ultimately get an injunction, just like in the starcaps case. That case took 2 years. The players played the entire time it was in the courts. In this case Josh’s legal arguments that can be made in state court are very, very strong. Specifically, state law controls and per Ohio law Josh did not fail the drug test. The Federal courts have already decided previously that 1) a player can sue to challenge results under the cba drug testing program; 2)that a player can play the entire time his case is pending, and; 3) that state law, NOT the CBA, controls. Since in Ohio a second negative sample negates the entire test Josh did not fail his test and he WILL play this year

  7. two tests… one at one nanogram over and another of the same sample 1.4 nanograms under. This is the strictest level I know 15 nanograms. Most pre-employment tests for 50 nanoograms. Hardcore is 25 nanograms.

    The rules might say they can throw away the second sample, when if the labeling had been reversed he would have passed. There is reasonable doubt when two identical samples get different results. He should have to fail both to be found as failing. This is ridiculous, and an unjustifiable attempt to rob him of alot of money and a big portion of his career.

  8. No win situation for the NFL however they rule. It’s going to another unpopular ruling coming right on the heels of Ray Rice debacle.

  9. Somebody needs to tell the Browns that North Dallas Forty is a movie, not a game plan. Could forward the memo to Jerrah while they’re at it.

  10. I say give the Animal House ruling

    6 game suspension then let him play but put him on Double Secret Probation with a tolerance of zero point zero if he messes up again.

    No more fun of any kind!

  11. should get at least 8 just for being such the idiot where you are in trouble already and you think its a good idea to ride in a car with something. why? you are a famous football player. you have the money to not just hire a driver, but to buy a car for a friend to trail you with while HE carries the stuff you can’t be caught with

    honestly, it surprises me that guys don’t do this. you have friends who you can go to, have one stay sober and always drive you while the others hold in another car, but don’t ride in a car or drive that car with even a stem. what you are giving up is not worth it. Stardom, bigger money. use your brain.

  12. I’ve got a better idea…BAN the commish, the domestic violence promoting sleaze attorney!

    Smoke a joint, get banned, KO your significant other, U get a pass….whateva!

  13. Whether he is suspended or not, he was discovered to have “failed” this drug test months ago. It’s absurd that this issue hasn’t been resolved yet, either way. I am led to believe he won’t be suspended for the entirety of the season due to the time it has taken to issue an actual verdict on the matter. If he were to be suspended for an entire season, he would miss the entire offseason program next year and be severely handicapped as a result, not to mention the Browns team. That just doesn’t seem fair at this point.

  14. officially as i read it, it was an ‘appeal’ hearing for the 1 year suspension.

    confused on how there can be ‘negotiations’ on cba – nfl agreement rules.

    Anyone can initiate a lawsuit, but this is a business’ rules, agreed to by employer and employees, i would then think court would throw it out. Data is quite clear… though the sample is under the ‘limit’ it shows ‘usage’ and formally not suppose to have ‘any’. Thats why they would trying to say… second hand ‘smoke’. And NFL immediately came out and said Player still responsible for whats in their body. That was right before appeal ‘hearing’.

    I would think then its all or none in this case. But somebody in the Browns must know something if they would NOT very active recruiting a replacement for him, during the draft and free agency ! Now they interview Santanio Homes ?

    ESPN… Come on Man…

  15. Because reducing his suspension will surely teach him that he has to follow the rules. It doesn’t matter if he deserves to miss the season or not. What matters is that the CBA dictates that he misses the season.

  16. Follow through NFL!! Do it a full year… Let others think twice.. Use him as an example. Orrrrrrrrr don’t… Just give him half what you said ,and watch the problem get worse and not better.

  17. Its a shame the NFL players union is such a joke. They have done nothing and owners own them. They have never won anything. They are a weak and worthless. They should be able to help Josh but no. NFL players have been sold down the river!

  18. For those of you saying Ohio law trumps the NFL … Alcohol and certain performance enhancing supplements are legal in Ohio also, but they could still get someone disciplined in the NFL.

    Ohio law may prevent Gordon from going to jail, but it (State of Ohio) has absolutely no jurisdiction in this matter.

    If I agree to be represented by a Collective Bargaining Agreement as a condition of my employment, which by vote the NFLPA has, and I violate a condition of that CBA, which Gordon has, then I am subject to the disciplinary process and suspension outlined in the CBA, which Gordon will be.

  19. chiadam says: Aug 7, 2014 2:15 PM:
    “Because reducing his suspension will surely teach him that he has to follow the rules. It doesn’t matter if he deserves to miss the season or not. What matters is that the CBA dictates that he misses the season.”

    Me: I think Gordon deserves less than a full year; I’m okay with eight games. I have no issue going against the CBA, because the words in it were of no use to Jimmy Graham, so it not exactly etched in stone.

  20. I don;t see how he gets anything other than a 16-Game suspension.

    I really want him to play this year, but I don;t see how he doesn’t get 16 games, at least by the letter of the law.

    This is his second violation in less than a year.

    It’s pretty cut and dried.

    The kid needs to get himself organized and on the right path here.

    One more slip up, and he is looking at never playing again. He is costing himself millions.

    If hew truly is an addict, then he needs to spend a year and get help.

    If he is not an addict, but is dumb enough to get caught, then he needs to go smarten up, and get things in order.

  21. “If I agree to be represented by a Collective Bargaining Agreement as a condition of my employment, which by vote the NFLPA has, and I violate a condition of that CBA, which Gordon has, then I am subject to the disciplinary process and suspension outlined in the CBA, which Gordon will be.”

    Not true, the CBA is not an agreement that, once accepted, is immune to legal scrutiny over specific manners. If your comment was the case, this issue would already be resolved.

    Not only is there legal precedent already to justify the illegitimate nature of this specific ruling, there is State precedence that contradicts the legality of ruling the test as a failure, and there is lawful grounds to support a restraining order followed by a preliminary injunction due to loss of wage and age-related nature of the NFL.

    None of this guarantees Gordon wins, but the league knows full well what they are up against if they strive for a full year suspension, all for a rule that in 9 months time will be changed so much so we will look back on the archaic level of it now and laugh.

    On top of it all? Suspension leads to setting the perceived precedent that beating your wife is not as bad as getting caught with net -0.4 nanograms of marijuana in your blood stream… because it’s his second time.

    The league is essentially looking at a CBA rule versus legal precedence + negative PR perceptions. Which do you think will win now?

  22. God=del has sure taken the NFL back words, what could possibly lead to this character not being removed from the NFL .

  23. The 8th Cir Court of Appeals in starcaps case said an employee can challenge the cba in the civil courts and that a cba cannot strip an employee of rights guaranteed by the state. In ohio if you have 2 samples and one is negative the state mandates that the entire test is negative. A CBA cannot supercede state law. Otherwise you could have cba’s that negate every law in the US, such as minimum age requirements. Obviously you could not draft a cba to allow 6 year old minors to work 80 hours a week, because state law trumps this. Just like Ohio law in this case trumps the nfl CBA. The Supreme court held this over 100 years ago and starcaps confirmed it.

  24. The pertinent section of the starcaps case which will control this matter from a legal standpoint (in short, the nfl CBA is irrelevant on drug testing if the nfl’s drug testing is harsher than the state in which the employee works):

    Finally, the NFL argues that denying preemption and subjecting the Policy to divergent state regulations would render the uniform enforcement of its drug testing policy, on which it relies as a national organization for the integrity of its business, nearly impossible. The Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, has rejected a similar argument. See Cramer v. Consolidated Freightways, Inc., 255 F.3d 683, 695 n. 9 (9th Cir.2001) (en banc). ***”We think this is the proper result in light of the Supreme Court’s observation that:

    [T]here [is not] any suggestion that Congress, in adopting § 301, wished to give the substantive provisions of private agreements the force of federal law, ousting any inconsistent state regulation. Such a rule of law would delegate to unions and unionized employers the power to exempt themselves from whatever state labor standards they disfavored. Clearly, § 301 does not grant the parties to a [CBA] the ability to contract for what is illegal under state law. In extending the pre-emptive effect of § 301 beyond suits for breach of contract, it would be inconsistent with congressional intent under that section to preempt state rules that proscribe conduct, or establish rights and obligations, independent of a labor contract.

    Lueck, 471 U.S. at 211-12, 105 S.Ct. 1904 (footnote omitted) (emphasis added); see Livadas, 512 U.S. at 123, 114 S.Ct. 2068 (cautioning that section 301 “cannot be read broadly to pre-empt nonnegotiable rights conferred on individual employees as a matter of state law”); see also Karnes, 335 F.3d at 1194 (noting that “the fact that the CBA incorporated Boeing’s anti-drug policy is irrelevant because `§ 301 does not grant the parties to a [CBA] the ability to contract for what is illegal under state law'” (quoting Lueck, 471 U.S. at 212, 105 S.Ct. 1904)). Therefore, the NFL’s national uniformity argument fails.

    Sorry to go lawdog on anyone, just posting for information sake. The NFL will lose in court if it goes there. They should take a 1 or 2 game suspension and be happy

  25. Absent a negotiated settlement, the CBA requires a 16 game suspension or none at all. I have a bad feeling that Henderson and Goodell would go for the 16 games if there is no settlement.

    I would get it if he hadn’t passed 70 straight drug tests, and if the results from this test didn’t suggest 2nd hand inhalation, and if the previous failed test was for the same substance, and if the substance was used to enhance performance.

    Given that none of that is the case, the fact that this kid was the most electric player in the NFL last year should have some weight. Certainly the fans would rather see Josh on the field than hear Goodell coming up with another absurd explanation of why he shouldn’t be.

    The CBA has failed in this instance simply because a 16 game suspension is possible. Henderson has failed if he thinks this is right. Goodell, with his $35,000,000 salary, should be smart enough to figure this one out.

  26. As many of the others have already spelled out… NFL has no legal leg to stand on… Josh Gordon will play the whole season… The coaches know this and that is why they have been running him with all the quarterbacks in practice and said he will probably play with all 3 teams in the first preseason game… At most he will get 1 or 2 games for his DUI

  27. First time DUI will get knocked down to a reckless opp. He blew a .09 and the legal limit is .08. I don’t think the DUI will have any effect on the drug case.

  28. I find all these “rules are rules” posts to be disingenuous. If everything was that clear cut Josh would have gotten a four game suspension for his first failed test but he had a prescription for cough syrup so it was reduced to two. Now he fails another test that is in dispute because of a flawed policy and two different results from one sample. One sample was slightly over the NFLs archaic marijuana testing policy which would not legally hold up as a positive in court of law because it could be a false positive. He didn’t commit a crime after the first suspension that put him in stage 3 and he didn’t commit a crime with this “failed” but “not failed” test.

  29. It doesn’t matter what is in the agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA…an agreement can’t usurp a state or federal law. Ohio employment laws for Drug testing call for a Confirmatory Test. See OH Gov code 123:1-76-06. His Confirmatory Test came back NEGATIVE (below the 15ng/ml threshold). Gordon is going to get off completely. The NFL is trying to figure out a way they won’t look like idiots.

  30. Ray Rice suspension for beating wife unconscious: 2 games

    Josh Gordon suspension for smoking natural herb that is already legal in 2 states: Possibly 16

    Cmon Rodger… Cmon

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