Gordon considers all options, including legal action


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.

102 responses to “Gordon considers all options, including legal action

  1. I’ve mentioned before and I’ll say it again. The signed CBA does not matter. It can’t be held as legal tender when the test conducted is incapable of properly quantifying at the level they test. He is 100% in the right on this one. The proper amount to test for is 150 ng/mL not 15 ng/mL. That amount is absolutely impossible to properly quantify, hence, the inability of the repetition. If this goes to court, the NFL will lose.

  2. So… it’s ALLLLL Brandon Weeden’s fault and suspended josh gordon, cut Greg Little, and cut/institutionalized Davone Bess get a free pass?!?

  3. I am hoping one of his ‘options’ is to take a look at himself and get the help he needs. The talent is obviously there.

  4. Of course, if you do something wrong, get caught, and get punished, litigate until the other side has to relent.

    Here’s a better idea Josh Gordon: try to go a whole year without smoking weed, or hanging around others who smoke weed.

  5. If litigation is going to be filed, it needs to be filed soon.

    Gordon was notified of the suspension in April. He didn’t appeal until August. I don’t think he has the same concept of “soon” as everyone else.

  6. Do it! The NFL has acted unconscionably, both in its unreasonable delay–surely designed to put distance between this ruling and the Rice debacle–
    and in its complete inability to think about how justice can be served any sort of nuanced way. They should be challenged.

  7. simplesimon1

    All your excuses are why he chose to get behind the wheel of a car under the influence. YOur pathetic as is Gordon

  8. The NFL handled this way wrong, and dragging it out like they did is more than irresponsible – it was borderline criminal. Yes, Josh should have been nowhere near amy smokers if he indeed didn’t smoke himself. That is on him. But there is a right and wrong way to handle a situation and the league fumbled the ball big time.

    I don’t like how the limit is a tenth of the OIC levels, and the NFL earlier in the year said that they’d raise the levels if the NFLPA accepts Goodell as judge, jury, executioner on HGH testing – which the NFLPA wisely said no to. I hope he sues, and I hope he wins.

  9. And I thought this story had ended after they announced the suspension. Silly me. This season can’t get started soon enough.

  10. Around 40,000 people die in traffic accidents every year in the U.S. Many them due to impaired drivers. Smoke, drink, shoot, and snort whatever you want but do it in a house and stay there until it wears off.

  11. Rules are the rules but it’s laughable that people have gotten less for killing people where Gordon’s offense is smoking a non-performance enhancing harmless plant.

  12. How much has he even made so far in his career?

    I can’t imagine that he would come out on top for what he will spend in legal fees. Ask Kevin Williams if that was worth it.

    Be accountable for your actions and use this time to get substance abuse and/or mental health counseling and train hard and prove your worth.

  13. The NFLPA should be VERY upset right now…the NFL waits until the day after cuts to announce this? This cost someone in the NFLPA a job yesterday.

  14. I’m shocked that another one of these guys refuses to have any accountability for his actions. I agree with the whole idea that his suspension is stupid when you consider what Rice got for what he did, but this guy knew the rules and broke them multiple times.

  15. According to a new study, the more pot a couple smokes, the less likely they are to be involved in a domestic violence incident. (Not a joke.)

    Just one more way the NFL is pro domestic violence.

  16. After considering all his options, Gordon decided on the family size bag of Doritos and a That 70s Show marathon.

  17. Hey! I got caught for like the 56th time smokin weed, or drinking and driving. But it can’t be my fault! I’m suing someone, anyone!!!!!

    God Bless Murica!

  18. coonsqualler says:Aug 27, 2014 1:50 PM

    Just get it over with. We are gonna suck again this year anyways…We always do.

    Just Sayin’…Go Brownies!!
    Since this a Josh Gordon article, I thought this was referring to a different kind of brownies at first…

  19. Weed is against the rules. I smoked weed. I got suspended. Time to blame someone else.

  20. The ignorance displayed in many of these comments is appalling.

    It was obviously form second-hand smoke since Josh has passed 70+ tests in the past year. If he had used it himself, other tests would have come back positive as MJ stays in your system for 30 days or more.

    To all of the people who think he “needs help”, look in the mirror. People who use marijuana don’t “need help” and more than the people who have a drink of alcohol after work or coffee before work. Firthermore, as stated above, he has passed over 70 tests in the past year which shows he isn’t even using it.

    The NFL and some of the self-righteous posters here need to get a grip.

  21. Brilliant Idea…

    If you’re a player in the NFL, maybe just don’t smoke weed? Plenty of time to smoke all you want when you retire at the ripe old age of 30.

    It’s called common sense, which apparently none of these clowns have.

  22. While Rice should have been kicked out of the league in my opinion, let’s not lose sight that this was Gordon’s THIRD failed drug test. The first time you don’t get suspended. Obvioulsy Gordon is about the biggest moron of the face of the earth. He knew what a failed THIRD test would result in, yet he couldn’t put it down. A little weed has cost him a boat load of money and he has nobody to blame but himself. So much for the argument that weed isn’t addictive.

  23. The current record for fewest touchdowns scored in a season is 3 by Cincinnati in 1933.

    This year’s Browns might break that record, unfortunately. See you all next season.

  24. Even if it were legal in all 50states and all territories of the US, an employer would still likely have the right to test employees and restrict its use.

    Josh Gordon’s actions are beyond selfish. He KNOWS the rules, he’s already been subject to disciplinary actions in the past. Josh Gordon put weed before his teammates, before his career, and before his own paychecks.

    This is the kind of stupidity that SHOULD be punished.

    But it does also point out the absurdity of the 2game suspension that Ray Rice got for beating his wife.

  25. Cant wait to see the picture of him sleeping on the judges stand from being hi and drunk…while in court

  26. What grounds can he stand on? Like the rules or not (i dont), he did not follow the rules and was punished according to the CBA…am I missing something?

  27. Gordon, just borrow Hines Ward’s hyperbaric chamber to sleep in for the next 3 years, then come back stronger (just ask Ed Reed or Keith Rivers). Pot will be legal by then.

  28. Injunction Junction, what’s your function? Keeping suspended players on the field, playing and scoring.

  29. Josh Gordon has reached a point in his career where he:
    1. Remains exposed for additional punishment for his DUI charge.
    2. Taken a pugnacious attitude blaming others for his shortcomings.

    He would be best served to study the current 25 years of sadness surrounding Pete Rose who acted in a similar manner and who now realizes he missed a lot of opportunities to shut up, sit down and focus on getting back to the sport he dominated.

  30. All the armchair lawyers here kill me. Let’s clear up some facts here.

    1 – This is his 4th time at least getting busted.

    2 – He didn’t test positive because he was around second hand smoke. Even potheads can’t believe that.

    3 – I happen to disagree with weed being illegal but because my job forbids it I don’t do it. If I wanted to and didn’t care about losing my job i’d smoke. But I do care about my job and getting paid.

    4 – If you’re making that kind of money and can’t manage to stay away from something you’ve already gotten in trouble for 3 times, then yes he has a problem.

    5 – This country is so absurd with Generation Me coming into their own now. Break the rules you knew were rules and then don’t accept responsibility. Blame someone else. Kinda like that kid who blamed his crash on “affluenza”

    6 – Mark my words, race and race baiting will be the next tactic. How the white owners are keeping a black man down.

    Give me a break. Guy has gotten 3 times before now to not be suspended a year. He did it anyway. Be a man and accept responsibility. If you’re man enough to smoke or be around weed smoke then be a man to accept the results. Stand up and say I love weed and if I get suspended then so be it. But don’t do it, blame someone else, or say it’s unfair. We all have stupid rules we have to live by. Either work to change them, or understand their are consequences if you break them. Plain and simple.

    Generation Me, our motto is it’s not our fault, it’s yours!

  31. If he receives a ‘preliminary injunction’ it would just be delaying the inevitable for him. There’s no way a court is going to throw out the NFL’s ruling. It doesn’t matter whether fans think he was wronged or whether marijuana should be legalized–the rules are the rules & this is AT LEAST the 3rd drug test he has failed. He might as well just take his medicine & serve out the suspension now. In the meantime he should pray that Manziel is good enough to be the starter next year b/c Hoyer is terrible.

    BTW–Leaving football aside for a second, this kid needs to get his act together OFF the field. Aside from failing at least three drug tests he was also just arrested for a DWI less than two months ago. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that he has an alcohol/drug problem.

  32. Josh Gordon is a lowlife piece of crap. You can all cry about the antiquated drug policy but remember, it is still illegal. (Not in Wash, or Colorado), true but employers still hold the legal right to a drug free workplace…….
    All the NFL is doing is mirroring the policies of society.

  33. Stiller43 says: Aug 27, 2014 2:29 PM

    What grounds can he stand on? Like the rules or not (i dont), he did not follow the rules and was punished according to the CBA…am I missing something?

    – Well theirs the whole “reasonable time” arguement. The suspension letter was sent last DECEMBER. He gets suspended the day before the Final pre-season game the following year. That’s not very reasonable. Especially if the Browns make the playoffs he would have been eligible to come back during them.

    – Second is the drug test method itself where basically he passed depending on which vial is used. As many Ohio residents have mentioned in their state that’s a PASS no matter what.

    – Third it’s upholding him to the stage 3 level of the substance abuse policy when he wasn’t even in the NFL when he committed his “Stage 1” act (being suspended and then kicked off of the Baylor football team) thus coming into the league already facing Stage 2. I’ve questioned that for years since there are coaches in this league who were facing NCAA sanctions when they jumped to the NFL and got 0 punishment (Pete Carroll and Jim Tressell being the most recent members of that club.)

  34. I think they should allow all of this guys to do what they want. Smoke, shoot-up, rape, beat. It seems the character of players are getting worse all the time. I for one believe the moral fiber of athletes condone by their parents because they are special is ruining the NFL.

  35. It doesn’t matter what the rules are… he signed up for them when he signed his deal. It sucks that someone so talented couldn’t follow the rules he agreed to, but it’s his own fault.

    Sure pot may be legalized in every state at some point, but that doesn’t change what he agreed to do. He violated his contract, and in most jobs that get’s you fired, not suspended for a year. He’s lucky. He should focus on meeting the obligations of his contract and achieve the greatness he is capable of. If he has an addiction problem he should get help and try to get through it. Many people have made it.

    The NFL is the highest level of competition, if you don’t have your act 100% together, then someone will be nipping at your heels to take your spot.

  36. How about you grow up and take responsibility for your actions. Stop making excuses and be a man. Why can’t these overpaid babies own up to their mistakes?

  37. “Second Hand Smoke” and “Pot, Dope, Mary Jane ETC.” should never be used in the same sentence. Show me a study that suggests being in the vicinity of a joint will trigger a failed drug test, at any saturation. The kid smoked it, that’s all there is to it. Unless he was shacked up with Cheech and Chong in the mystery machine for a few days, inhaling “second hand” pot smoke will not affect you significantly enough. While I still don’t agree with his lengthy suspension and Ray Rice’s Non-existent one, he still broke the rules…multiple times and now has to pay the price. I am still in awe over the fact that Cleveland’s only back up plan in all of this was Miles Austin. While Buffalo may gift Cleveland a high #1, the Browns are all but locks for the #1 overall. In which case they will still mess up, just like their last 2 multiple 1st rd pick years. One thing is for certain, Josh Gordon is an IDIOT!

  38. Option 1: Go home and take a bong hit. Then go for a drive to clear my head. Pull over and smoke a fatty. Drive a little more to clear my head. Get pulled over and lose millions of dollars. Get bummed.

    Option 2: Go home and take a bong hit. Hire a limo driver to take you wherever you would like to go. Pull over and smoke a fatty. Have your driver drop you off at home. Order the Whizzenator from ebay. Get some rest.

    Josh, Josh, Josh…always go with option 2.

  39. This is for everyone posting about how Gordon is a pot-smoking fiend who refuses to give up smoking. Here’s a little secret: his last suspension was not for marijuana. Shocking, I know. This new internet thing can give you that information. All it takes is 5 minutes to check. From what I can gather on this, Gordon did smoke weed in college, (which many, many students do), and then stopped ( which many, many people do as they grow up). In February, he then took a medicine prescribed by a doctor when he had strep throat. That medicine had codeine in it and Gordon did not properly research the medicine or notify the league. Those circumstances shortened his original suspension from 4 to 2 games. Then, there was this test.

    I’m not giving an opinion on the suspension, but when commenting about his history, at least have an idea of what that history is. Don’t just make up facts and/or assume.

  40. Smokin’ all that weed and listening rap music now he wants to lawyer up like it’s somebody elses fault.

  41. It’s pretty simple. If Josh Gordon took one hit, then he has to take his punishment as it’s written in the CBA.

    If he didn’t do it, he has to take it to court. Nobody here would accept an injustice in order to expedite the punishment.

    If you’re Roger Clemens and you’re innocent of taking steroids, you stand up to the feds.

    If you’re Mike Tyson being charged for rape and you didn’t do it, you don’t pay the accuser off.

    If you’re Richard Sherman and you didn’t do Adderall and you lose your appeal, you take it to court.

    It’s called standing up for yourself.

    Josh is a human being. If you’re accused of something you didn’t do, you’re not going to be cool with it. But if you did take even a small hit, own it, pay your dues and don’t compare your ridiculous punishment to Ray Rice’s. It’s in the CBA.

  42. Sorry but I just can’t get over the fact that a player gets two games suspension for beating a woman senseless, but a whole year for marijuana. He should sue in order to bring up this disparity in court.

  43. Yeah file a lawsuit, Josh. Lawyers need money too.
    A millionaire with a history of breaking the rules and his lawyers v. 32 Billionaires and their lawyers.

  44. Josh should save the wear and tear on his body cuz the Browns are gonna suck cuz they ain’t got no quarterback….here’s hoping they start Johnny football vs the Steelers opening weekend!

  45. to notthetroll: The media has been beating up on those billionaires lately and a Gordon lawsuit would give them more ammunition . I think it would be a smart idea to sue. Ray Rice should have been out for at least two years based on this decision.

  46. Nobody ever said you get high from second hand smoke. It’s the fact that it enters your system. And the “allowable” amount by the NFL CBA is so ridiculously low that, yes, second hand smoke CAN trigger a failed test. This is exactly why the Olympic committee, the toughest in the world, upped the amount to 150ng whereas the NFL leaves it at 15ng.
    AND, federal law states that any state laws supersede that of any CBA. Now, with that being said, Ohio law states that regardless of order cup “A” and cup “B”, having come from the same sample, MUST BOTH be over the limit or the test is considered passed.
    Now, Josh Gordon was placed into stage 2 coming into the NFL based on his college test fails. That’s wrong in the first place. He has been subject to up to 10 tests a month since day 1. He passed every test he has ever taken in the NFL for marijuana with the exception of this one. That’s all the tests before it and all the tests after it. How do you get such a ridiculously low level in your system at one point and one point only. At some point, whether before or after this test, he would have had a higher level IF he were actually smoking weed himself.

  47. I just love the Monday morning lawyers coming up with contrived excuses for why he shouldn’t be suspended. Do you understand an arbitrator is an independent third party who examines all evidence, and makes a straight down the middle ruling? That is just one of the reasons they are used so often, and why their decisions are final. He lost, he’s suspended, and I doubt the NFLPA, would allow him to sue. If he does, he will not have their backing.

  48. So what have we learned? Punching a woman and dragging her out of an elevator is not as bad as just sitting in the elevator quietly, minding your own business, while she smokes weed.

    Sounds like justice to me.

  49. Gordon is just a dolt. He got pulled over here in Cleveland earlier this year and the police officer smelled weed and they searched the car and found pot, but one of the guys in the car claimed it was his. This guy is a stoner. It is what it is. The rules on pot in the NFL are ridiculous because it’s not a PED. They don’t even test for weed in the NBA because they would lose 1/2 the players. Gordon needs to man up and own it. Stop pointing the finger at others for YOUR problems that YOU created Josh.

  50. Did I forget to mention my Vikings have been eliminated from the first round if the playoffs 48% of the time throughout our embarrassing history? It really is a joke of a franchise, am I right!!!!

  51. Well, looks like the Browns will get a chance to use the highly likely #1 overall pick that they receive from the Bills on a Receiver as insurance for Gordon or another QB.

  52. The state of Colorado should also sue the NFL. Let Josh smoke! At least he was out drinking and punching/sexually assaulting women or murdering a couple of people. Whats wrong with NFL players????

  53. He needs to just go away. And all you above need to quit comparing apples to oranges. He agreed to millions of dollars and to abide by the CBA, which included the testing rules. He and his union AGREED. And multiple offenders sometimes get hammered for small offenses, it is the accumulation of offenses that make a small offense get a massive penalty. He’ll get in trouble again, before the year is over.

  54. Gheez, just be a man and do your time.

    Nobody wants to be accountable nowadays.

    And the Browns knew he was suspended 2-3 times in College for weed when the drafted him so Browns fans should be angry at the organization and Gordon instead of the NFL.

  55. The fact of the matter is Josh Gordon was in Stage 3 and he knew the consequences. Even if it was second hand smoke, he shouldn’t have put himself in that position.

    Until the rules are changed, they are still the rules. You break the rule, you take responsibility. It’s really a pretty simple concept.

  56. The current record for fewest touchdowns scored in a season is 3 by Cincinnati in 1933.

    This year’s Browns might break that record, unfortunately. See you all next season.

    Wow 1933 Cincinnati Football Reds reference. Impressive!

  57. and this is what is wrong with America I didn’t get my way so I’m going to go cry to someone who will listen. The judge is not going to reverse The suspension and furthermore politicians and judges need to stay out of pro sports and worry about real problems.

  58. Facts are this — Gordan was put into Stage 1 for what happened in college. He was made to take a drug test before he was drafted and passed. So he was punished in college and the Nfl before he ever stepped on the field. Stage 2 came when he took a prescription cough medicine with codeine ( in the off season for strep throat and non performance enhancing). Stage 3 + for THC , one sample split into two samples. Two different results, should be the same results if from the same sample. He passed 70 straight test then all of a sudden barely registers a +. People need to get their facts straight before they bash the kid. Josh needs to fight this.

  59. Reminds me of a commercial that use to run in the 70’s

    Why do you think they call it dope

  60. He needs to go all in and sue because he needs to stay clean anyways so if he can show he can stay clean until the court ruling the NFL may decide to settle. The Browns should also file a law suit for delaying the decision sooooooo long. Its not over yet

  61. Gordon passed 70 consecutive tests. The one he didn’t pass turned up at 16 nanograms per milliliter – just above the NFL threshold of 15 ng/ml. A nanogram is one billionth of a gram. THAT’S ONE BILLIONTH OF A GRAM!!!

  62. Josh Gordon needs to go away to rehab, and sort his life out. He’s been having problems since college and this is getting ridiculous. No one cares anymore except the Cleveland Browns, but they knew what they were getting into, so get over it and move on. Keep suing Josh and wasting your money, because you might not have much left soon.

  63. sing it with me –

    I was gonna play ball for the browns, but then i got high

    I was gonna score a bunch of touchdowns, but then i got high

    Now my season’s over and I know why

    Because I got high,
    Because I got high,
    Because I got high.

  64. Gordons best bet is to get his Sheeet together and obey the NFL policies – never mind suing!

  65. He’s done in the NFL. He has a whole year to himself now to try and stay clean. Like any substance abuser he won’t be able to stop himself. Brownies should just do themselves a favor and release him and own up for the mistake of not trading him last year. Now it blew up in their face and will continue to blow up in their face like Nuclear Fission.

  66. Players NEVER admit to wrong-doing. Ever. They’re always innocent.

    “I didn’t realize that a banned substance was in my medication”. “I was just taking vitamins”. “It was second-hand smoke”.

    For once I’d like to see a player man-up and admit that he did the deed.

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