Source: NFL upholds Josh Gordon suspension


Nearly four months after the NFL proposed a one-year suspension for Browns receiver Josh Gordon, a decision has been reached on his appeal.

Per a league source, hearing officer Harold Henderson has upheld the one-year suspension for Gordon’s latest violation of the subtance-abuse policy.

It means that Gordon will be banished from the team and the league for a full calendar year.  He’ll be eligible for reinstatement as of August 27, 2015, only days before the start of the 2015 regular season.

We’ll have plenty of news and angles and reaction as the day unfolds.  For now, the headline is that the Browns will have to make it through all of the 2014 season without one of the best receivers in the NFL.

121 responses to “Source: NFL upholds Josh Gordon suspension

  1. Let’s be honest.

    Josh Gordon deserves this suspension.

    He’s a criminal.

    Let’s look at a real class act, like Adrian Peterson.

    Him and the Minnesota Vikings organization are the standard of the NFL.

    This is why we are the best team, on the field and off the field.

  2. Let’s not forget: next year he will also face ANOTHER suspension for the DUI, likely two games.

    This kid spends more time away from football than Gronk. At least Gronk isn’t self-medicating.

  3. And the NFL continues to make a mockery of itself. Are they even aware of how ridiculous this looks, or do they just not care?

  4. Who’s really surprised? I personally am glad that the first of my three fantasy drafts is tonight. Sorry for the selfish response.

  5. Well, all-in-all, that couldn’t have turned out much worse. Not only do the Browns lose him for all of 2014 but, by appealing, they lose him for all of next seasons training camp as well.


  6. This blows my mind! I’m not a browns fan or ravens fan. I’m just a fan with an ounce of common sense and know that if you hit your fiance and drag her out of an elevator it should be a harsher penalty than 2 games……what in the hell is the NFL thinking!?!?!?

  7. The way the NFL handled this situation is a joke! If this was going to be the outcome why wouldn’t they have just suspended him so they team doesn’t get hurt? I really don’t understand how the nfl operates. You knock out a woman you get 2 games, if you test positive on 1 of 2 tests you get banned for a year. Goodell is a clown.

  8. It took them this long to come back to where they started? This should be amended due to the NFL having dragged their feet so long on this. Take away this season – that’s fair – but to damage next season is bullcrap. This is screwing the Browns, not just Gordon – and the Browns weren’t at fault here.

    Absolutely ridiculous.

  9. And the delay for a month on this was due to….. what? I’m not even going to bother with the obvious comparisons to the Ray Rice suspension. I used to really like Roger Goodell. The guy has become the worst commissioner in sports and, by far, the worst the NFL has ever had. It’s getting old.

    —NOT a Cleveland Browns fan

  10. Wow, the NFL has serious Character issues if this is true!

    Beat a women unconscious come back by week 3!

    Smoke Weed, 1 year ban!

    The NFL is becoming a Joke!

  11. (Petition to just give the Minnesota Vikings our deserved Super Bowl ring this year)

    We’re 100x better than the next team out there.

    Just give us our deserved Lombardi Trophy.


  12. On further review, it’s probably not the best idea to get busted for a DUI in the middle of the appeals process. Just sayin’….

  13. Could they not have done this a month ago, in order to allow him to participate in all of training camp in 2015?

  14. We all saw this coming – but when Roger Goodell suspends a guy who beat his wife unconscious for two games, and then suspends a non-violent offender for an entire YEAR we all have to ask the question:

    What is Roger Goodell smoking???

  15. Thank good he didn’t hit a woman in public. Oh wait, ,,

    Sickening that nfl now wants to change its policy on domestic violence after rice.Yet no change of rules when it comes to pot

  16. Hope the NFL explains in detail how they arrived at this decision. I’ll bet Gordon takes this to court.

  17. What sense does this make? Yes, he’s broken the rules and the law. But seriously, compared to what Ray Rice did? And Rice’s wasn’t even a he said/she said situation, we all SAW it. What kind of message does this NFL “justice” send to kids?

  18. It’s a silly punishment, but it’s what the league and the players negotiated. It’s not fair but it is the rule. And Gordon knew that.

    When they reopen the CBA, this will be fixed. But probably not till then.

  19. Josh should have punched the collector in the mouth and knocked him unconscious. He then would have been able to play Week 3.

  20. The NFL has become totally detached from the vast majority of their fans and are on a steamroller of things that piss us off.

    Most of the country wants weed legalized and yet they suspend someone a full season for it. But domestic abuse means next to nothing to the league. Fans hate the emphasis on pass interference and letting the DBs have some ability to play, yet the league is shoving that down our throats. The push for 18 game seasons, more teams in playoffs, a lot of other ideas the league has are all things the majority of the fans DO NOT WANT.

    Keep it up NFL, you’re starting to drive fans away and soon it will go from a trickle to a boatloads.

  21. Because partaking of an herb native to planet Earth is a far more serious offense than punching a woman’s, or anyone’s face in. Nice message to the kids Commissioner…

  22. Marijuana laws and rules are dumb. That being said, it’s the NFL’s rule. He should get some credit for ‘time served’. The amount of time it took is ridiculous.

  23. Now he can go home and smoke the dope for a WHOLE YEAR and come back clean.
    Get it out of his system.

  24. Roger Goodell justice in full display. Ray Rice gets 2 games for knocking out a woman, and Josh Gordon gets a full year for a very very questionable MJ test. What a joke.

    When are the owners going to learn, that even though the money keeps rolling in the game the claim to be guardians of is rapidly declining . The NFL will soon stand for National flag football League

  25. Bill Billicheck and Josh Gordon have similar career paths. Both in the nfl and both broke the rules multiple times. Gordon faces his suspension where as Billicheck continues to to cheat with false info on injury reports and breaking rules that cost them games, like last year jets game, and then uses the excuse “i didnt know” and nothing happens to him. So my point is if your going to break the rules then you should be punished no matter how you decide to cheat.

  26. What do you get when you add a Blackmon + a Gordon?

    When you find out let me know, because i’m sure it’ll be plenty of fun.

  27. REMINDER: It is still your job to blame it ALLLLLLLL on Brandon Weeden and give a free pass to suspended josh gordon, cut Greg Little, and cut and institutionalized Davone Bess

  28. Get the attorneys on this. The variance in results from the pee test sample A and sample B shows that the testing protocol is flawed and for this, Josh Gordon is suspended for 1 year.
    It was so important for the NFL to show leniency re Ray Rice. It is obvious to everyone that the suspension system is ridiculous.

  29. Although dumb to suspend him for weed the rules are the rules and we all have the choice to abide by the rules or risk getting in trouble for breaking them. What I don’t understand is banishing him from the team. Sure, don’t let him play but what harm is there to allow him to watch practice, games, and sit in meetings? Sounds like the kid could benefit from being around a structured support group.

  30. “Welcome to the club.”

    – Pacman Jones
    – Tanard Jackson
    – Fred Davis
    – Sean Payton
    – Greg Williams

    Gordon didn’t help himself when he got the DWI.

  31. As a Browns fan I would have thought this was fair….a month ago!! Now it jerks with our team next year. Why can’t they retro this thing? We win 5 games with or without him.

  32. Unreal. How is it that players can assault women and get a two game suspension (Ray Rice) or a four game suspension for suspected sexual assault (Ben Roethlisberger) but Josh Gordon smoked some weed and gets suspended for a year?

    Herr Goddell needs to get his priorities in order.

  33. Dear Mike Pettine,

    I suggest you get Josh into the building immidiately. When he arrives, put him in cuffs, and drag him to an undiclosed location, and lock him in there for there for the next 12 months. Be sure to provide him everything he needs, just like he was sitting at his own house. Give him all the fitness equipment he could ever use so he doesnt get out of shape, etc.

    Otherwise, without football, and left to his own devices, he wont ever see a football field again

  34. Josh Gordon did not have to appeal.
    He decided to appeal and now he gets to miss all of training camp next year.
    He should have just stuck with the initial decision.

  35. I understand upholding the suspension, but the delay is unfair. They should suspend him until like March or April of 2015. That way he is out this entire year, but they don’t screw him for working out for next year’s season.

  36. How do some of you not get it? The guy has made this same mistake, many times over. He also made this same mistake 2 months after this suspension was announced. Ray Rice’s incident was the first of its kind. Gordon is getting a year for his habitual violation of rules.

  37. Gordon said he’s disappointed the NFL didn’t use better judgement.

    That sums it all up. He doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong. He will get caught again.

    At age 23, he is choosing weed over being a multi-millionaire.

    You can save the argument that weed should be legal. It is forbidden by his employer just like most people can’t show up in the office in board shorts or bikinis.

  38. It’s going to be a long year. I hope the Browns hired a sitter for Josh to keep him out of trouble. I really hope he takes this to court and can still play. Then the Browns can draft or trade for a WR for next year.

  39. All of you need to quite crying about Rice and comparing their situations. I agree Rice should have gotten at least an extra 4-6 games on top of the two, but this is different. Gordon has screwed up “multiple times” including putting himself in a situation where he could have killed somebody for driving drunk (really, can’t afford a car service). The rules clearly state these things and he continues to break them anyway! No sympathy for this guy.

  40. Suspended from the team as well… ie banned from the team facilities. Seems like the worst way to deal with a person with a substance abuse problem– isolate him from the team.

    But I guess the idea is to isolate the team from him

  41. Why so long handing down this decision? It is almost as bad as the NFL demanding to be paid a percentage of monies earned by the half time talent–who perform for free at the Super Bowl– after they are back on the road.

    They should listen to Mark Cuban’s warning, rather than act like the Mafia.

  42. Rule is a rule. Stop making excuses for the kid. How dumb do you have to be?
    Rule clearly states no smoking pot.. So he smokes pot, then looks for pitty and states the league should’ve used better discretion?

    Who cares what happen to ray rice, has absolutely ZERO relevance to Gordon’s inept perseverance.

  43. Eutaw’s Finest says:
    Aug 27, 2014 12:45 PM
    Let’s not forget: next year he will also face ANOTHER suspension for the DUI, likely two games.

    This kid spends more time away from football than Gronk. At least Gronk isn’t self-medicating.

    It actually could be a lot longer since he is already in the leagues substance abuse program. If they go by the book he could be looking at a indefinent suspension.

  44. Let’s see here:

    In the Substance Abuse Program for something he did before entering the league: How is that legal?

    Suspended for codeine syrup prescribed to him by a doctor: How is that legal?

    Half of his urine tested positive against an unreasonable standard for marijuana. The other half did not. According to Ohio law, both tests must be positive.

    Josh Gordon is clearly not the brightest guy in the world and obviously does not associate with the best group of people, but what has actually done wrong? Certainly not enough to warrant this suspension.

  45. If the dummy didn’t get a DUI like a week after his announced failed drug test I think the league would have been more lenient. Don’t understand the people crying that his suspension is too long. He could have killed someone.

  46. Serves him right for sittin’ around all day smoking wacky tobacky and listening to rap music.

  47. The only way to wake up the NFL and idiot Goodell is to not watch and not go to the games. Based on watching the pre-season, which o by the way, owners charge full price for the tickets for that garbage, the NFL is on a downward trend. I hope all of these scumbags lose all of their money and finally get what they deserve.

    They have pissed me off enough not to watch. There’s only 2-3 games per week worth watching anyway

  48. Considering the League offices consist of roughly 80+% lawyers, I don’t think threatening to sue will do much.

    There is a process/protocol for handling substance abuse, with a series of stages and penalties for subsequent offenses. You are seeing the result of it with regard to Josh Gordon. He is a repeat offender, which is why he’s up to a year suspension on this case.

    There is no process/protocol for handling Domestic Violence. You may think Goodell let Rice off easy, but there was no system in place to say what the penalty should be. He is trying to establish one now with the NFL PA (who didn’t blink one way or the other over Rice’s suspension).

  49. The NFL got this right. Now they must implement the domestic violence upgraded suspension. Browns fans Gordon did this to himself.

  50. Can we please get rid of roger goodell once and for all . Ray rice belongs in jail. But in Ratland will have a statue built. Meanwhile that dump of a city can’t get more than 16k to watch the orioles. Maybe they need to murder, throw bleach or knock women out to get more support

  51. Roger you have convinced me you are a psychotic yes man who has no idea of his own hypocrisy, a kid smokes something that is legal in 2 of the states you operate but the owner of a team is arrested with several worse things but you turn a blind-eye (just like the justice system apparently)

  52. Suspended WR Josh Gordon can apply for reinstatement at the end of the 2014 season.
    It’s technically just a season-long ban for Gordon, not a calendar-year suspension. It’s a glimmer of good news. Gordon will be away from the Browns for roughly 5-6 months, as long as he keeps his nose clean. Gordon took and passed over 70 drug tests, but failed the one that led to this suspension by 0.01 nanograms per milliliter. Gordon’s agent needs to surround him with good people while he’s away from the game. He has a ton of football ahead of him.


  53. Let’s see here:

    In the Substance Abuse Program for something he did before entering the league: How is that legal?

    Suspended for codeine syrup prescribed to him by a doctor: How is that legal?

    Half of his urine tested positive against an unreasonable standard for marijuana. The other half did not. According to Ohio law, both tests must be positive.

    Josh Gordon is clearly not the brightest guy in the world and obviously does not associate with the best group of people, but what has actually done wrong? Certainly not enough to warrant this suspension.

    Right on.

  54. How many of you actually followed this its .015 positive. If he was in the mlb or any other sport he would have passed. His second sample was.0139 which is passing. What is even the point of two samples….to convict. So the comparison to domestic violence this would be verbal abuse… The NFL is has double standards, just because you make rules doesn’t mean the rules aren’t retarded.

  55. He’s free to play baseball…very free now.

    If he wants to play football, those are the standards they use.

    It’s legal to drink, so why don’t you show up to work drunk tomorrow and tell them how there’s nothing they can do about it.

  56. You get paid millions yet you can’t figure out how to not use drugs. To be so blessed and so stupid at the same time. The difference between him making millions and working at McDonalds is that he can catch a little oval ball. Jeesh.

  57. C’mon guys. You’re all complaining like all Gordon did was beat up his wife and drag her unconscious from an elevator.

    I mean, this guy violated a policy! More than once! Have you no sense of moral outrage?

  58. When Gordon was suspended last year for 2 games it was for Codine (purple drank). But here’s the caviat, to get a suspension it has to be at minimum the 2nd failed drug test. So this years suspension is his at minimum 3rd drug violation. Then he and his lawyers tried to argue that he tested positive for Marijuana due to second hand smoke. He was suspended in 2011 from Baylor for weed also. That made him not eligible for the 2011 supplemental draft and he was drafted in the 2012 supplemental. He had 805 yds 5 TD’s his rookie yr and nearly 1700 yds and 9 TDs last year in only 14 games.

    One good thing for the Browns with this yr suspension is that they will now have him under contract until 2016 under his current rookie deal instead of 2015. Bad thing is when he returns from suspension he will then have to face up to his latest DUI charges. It’s ugly.

    Ray Rice is a scumbag and all but he wasn’t on his 3rd strike and per the CBA it’s written and agreed upon. If it’s your third strike you are suspended for a year no if’s and’s or but’s. Gordon is going down the Justin Blackmon road and its just sad.

  59. Are people really that slooow to keep comparing Gordon to Rice?!! They are not related in ANY way. Gordon is suspended for a year because that’s what the drug policy that was agreed to in the CBA says he should be suspended. Multiple offender of the drug policy. It really is that simple and the Ray Rice issue has nothing to do with it.

  60. Comparisons to Rice is wrong, different circumstances, Rice from what we know is a first time offender. If this behavior was more then one really bad night in his life, then yes he needs to be an example and given min four game suspension. It’s Immature fans on these post, living vicariously thru their teams, thinking they are remotely connected to the organizations like the Bengals, Steelers, Browns and Ravens. You sound like little kids saying I’m better then you are! Grow up and enjoy the sport with constructive dialogue. I bet these quite a few of the players and coaches make in one year what most of you that post stupid ignorant pointless, mine is bigger, better, longer, then yours comments, in a lifetime.

  61. People seem to forget the CBA spells out exactly what to do to a stage 3 offender of a non performance enhancing drug. The CBA has no guidelines, yet, for domestic violence. If ya’ll want to lynch something go after the rules that the NFL and players agreed to.

  62. Josh Gordon is the only one who should be held accountable for his suspension & how it impacts the Browns. This isn’t the NFL’s, Goodell’s or the Arbitrator’s fault. The simple truth is Gordon is a Brown and as such, just can’t help but sabotage the team’s potential. His self-destructive behavior coupled with the selection of Manziel guarantees their sinking to the bottom of the AFC North for another couple of years.

  63. NFL is generating their own fantasy traffic now by waiting so long to announce this suspension. Our league charges $5 per trade (but also smart enough not to draft Josh Gordon).

  64. This just makes me laugh….everyone saying “Its just weed!” Well guess what, its an illegal substance AND its in the CBA that the players agreed too. The guy legitimately needs help. Maybe the time off will do him some good.

    Id be mad if I was a Browns fan because even before the draft I thought they would nab Watkins to go along with Gordon in the future. Just think, they could have had Watkins and say Roby as a DB and then gotten Car in the 2nd round, or traded back into the first for Manziel.


  65. Everyone is making way to big of deal out of this please explain to me why Josh is a criminal ? Because he smoked weed ok him Ray Rice beats his wife and no one bats an eye weed is a plant not a crime it’s not like he was using some performance enhancing drug it was marijuana the NFL is bias against him because he is a great player on a bad team people need to stop getting there pantries in.a ruffle and realize what he did is not bad period end of story

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