Aug 18, 2014; Landover, MD, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (12) walks out of the locker room prior to the Browns

Report: Josh Gordon Suspension Decision Made, Not Announced

UPDATE: Gordon has been suspended for one calendar year, more to come from DPD later:

The Josh Gordon suspension appeal took another wild turn today with Adam Schefter reporting on SportsCenter that the decision has been made. Yet while the decision has been made no announcement has come:

Another odd turn for a very odd case. We will try to dissect this information the best we can trying to deduce the possible reasons for such. Please know these are just guesses based on information that we know, assume or think might be true. At this point, with this case, it is the best anyone without direct knowledge has:

Timing

The NFL likes to make most of their suspension related announcements on Fridays. A running joke on Twitter the last two weeks has been to make sure you were by your computer about 4:45PM on Friday for the Gordon announcement. It is possible that the league wants to make the announcement after many of the 4th pre-season games are finished so the news cycle is shorter as fans get ready and excited for the start of the regular season.

Editor’s Update: Could Kicker’s Suspension be a good Sign for Gordon? (New Window)

Negotiations

The league has both Gordon’s positive test (and negative B sample) as well as his DUI issue from earlier in the summer to deal with. If the league won the appeals case they could be looking at negotiating the two issues together in a way that doesn’t give them the terrible PR hit that the Ray Rice situation did. Any Gordon suspension will be compared to Rice, and Brandon Meriweather‘s suspension for hits on the field, so the league has to be careful.

If Gordon won the appeal the league still has the DUI case to hold over his head and could be trying to use that as leverage. If Gordon won this case, the league could try to negotiate a 2 to 4 game suspension related to the DUI and continued blemish on the league. 2 to 4 games is over the top for that crime but could be something Gordon agrees to as a way of ending the situation and to be able to move on with his career.

The League Lost

If the league lost the appeal they will not make any announcement officially. Gordon, his agent and the Browns will be made aware of the decision but no official announcement. The league may be aware of the ruling and if they lost figuring out how to spin it. It is not likely that Gordon will get off without some kind of suspension but based on the appeal courts power, Henderson either has to rule for zero games or a full year suspension. Anything besides that would have to be negotiated. If Gordon won, that would delay any announcement as the league decides to move forward.

Best Guess?

Our best guess is that this is good news for Gordon and the Browns. There are probably other options that are not as good for Gordon but the league, knowing that Schefter just reported this around lunch time, would likely make an announcement shortly if the suspension is upheld. Any form of negotiation is good news for Gordon and the Browns. That means no full year suspension is likely and possibly that Gordon could see the field for the majority of the Browns games this year.

We don’t want to get your hopes up though. Nothing about this case has made sense so far, so nothing moving forward has to make sense either. Anything could happen and we would not be shocked. But we do know that the decision has been reached by the appeals judge.

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