Just days before the kickoff of the NFL season the Cleveland Browns received some news that could transform their whole season, as star receiver and best offensive weapon Josh Gordon will sit out the entire 2014 NFL season after violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
Gordon appealed the ruling and met with arbitrator Harold Henderson and other league officials on Aug. 4. Nonetheless, Henderson on Aug. 27 upheld the suspension for a failed test for marijuana.
“I’d like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans,” Gordon said in a statement. “I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing office didn’t exercise better discretion and judgment in my case. I would like to sincerely thank the people who have been incredibly supportive of me during this challenging time, including my family, my agent, my union, my legal team, and the Cleveland Browns staff.”
Due to the suspension, Gordon is not allowed to practice with the Browns, attend team meetings or partake in any other club functions. However, Gordon still remains under the care of medical professionals in the NFL treatment program, which includes counseling and rehab if needed. Gordon is still subject to random testing.
Last season, Gordon served a two-game suspension for a drug violation. Despite that ban, he still lead the NFL in receiving with 1,646 yards that season.
The Browns had reason for hope this upcoming season with the arrival of rookie QB Johnny Manziel, although it was recently announced that he would be the backup to Brain Hoyer.
Gordon was reportedly exploring the possibility of playing in the CFL, but sources in both that league and the NFL said Aug. 28 that such a move would not be possible, due to prohibitions in Gordon’s Browns contract and in the CFL against signing a player suspended in another league.