The NFL likes to hand down PR news late on Fridays in general. It is smart public relations to get the news out there so that by the time people return to work and talk radio on Monday something else has taken its place. Today, the day before an American 3 day weekend, the NFL did just that handing down a number of suspensions. Yet Josh Gordon‘s was not one of them.
We had covered that no appeal date had yet been set for Gordon. Today Pro Football Talk reported that there is now an appeal date sometime late in July:
But it will be happening sooner rather than later. Gordon’s hearing, we’re told, has been scheduled for late July.
It’s still possible that a hearing won’t be needed, if the NFL and the NFLPA work out a reduced suspension. Gordon reportedly faces a minimum banishment of one year for his latest violation of the substance-abuse policy.
Gordon’s case has been extremely interesting as the report of his suspension looming came out during Draft weekend and yet nothing has been decided since. Quite a few other suspensions have been handed down which leads many to believe that the league is hoping for an agreement between themselves and Gordon. It is possible that the league’s stance isn’t as strong as they would like and they do not want to lose an appeal.
It is also possible that Gordon’s agent and the Player’s Association has done as much as they can to make this case difficult on the league. Most, if not all, of the suspensions announced recently have been for performance enhancers, not recreational substances. That bodes well for Gordon as a year suspension, technically he can apply for reinstatement in a year, would be a huge blow to him and the Browns.
Best guesses are between 4 and 8 games if an agreement is reached. That would allow the Browns to still have Gordon for at least half of their games and keep him around the team much more. A reduced suspension would allow him to continue in Training Camp and learn the playbook as well.