Josh Gordon‘s appeal case is Friday. Gordon and the Cleveland Browns would love to have some closure to his issues as soon as possible. Adam Schefter just reported that Gordon has hired a new attorney, with an interesting background tidbit:
Josh Gordon has hired attorney Maurice Suh, who helped Richard Sherman win his appeal. Suh will work w/ noted NFLPA attorney Heather McPhee.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 28, 2014
The fact that Gordon is hiring another lawyer, after having use of the NFLPA lawyer is a sign he believes he can achieve something in this appeal. That he hired the guy that helped Richard Sherman win his appeal is a strategic move.
Sherman won his appeal late in 2012 with Suh as his lawyer. Sherman’s appeal was of a 4 game ban for use of performance enhancing substances, likely Adderall. Gordon’s case is for recreational drug use, assumed to be marijuana, but has a similar nature. Sherman’s appeal was won based on the way the sample was collected. Proper handling procedures is vital, as well as chain of custody procedures which helped Ryan Braun.
If Gordon is able to reduce his suspension at all it could have a huge impact on his professional career and life. If suspended for a full year Gordon would be unable to have any communication or contact with the Browns for an entire calendar year. At that time he can apply for reinstatement but is not guaranteed to be allowed back in to the league. An agreed upon shorter sentence, or no suspension at all, would allow Gordon to go through Training Camp with the team and return to the team during this NFL season.
The number one importance should be the long term care of Gordon but for the team having the best young wide receiver in the game on the field could be a game changer. The Browns have beefed up their offensive line, running game and defense. Getting Gordon on the field with Jordan Cameron, Andrew Hawkins and a healthy Miles Austin would change a weakness into a huge strength.
It is surprising Gordon waited this long to make this move. Suh will have a short amount of time to get things together before the appeal. The NFLPA lawyer should help in that but could Suh request a delay? Could this hire be Gordon’s strategic way to try to get a settlement before the hearing on Friday? Either way Gordon, and at some level the Browns, may have just drafted a heavy hitter for the team.
What do you think of this news?