The Josh Gordon suspension issue is a strange and sorted affair that seems better suited for primetime television or a movie then in real life. What we think we know:
- Gordon’s A sample barely tested positive.
- Gordon’s B sample tested negative.
- Because of the NFL’s policy and procedures, and where Gordon is in the Drug Policy, Gordon would be suspended for a calendar year.
- Gordon appealed the suspension.
- Gordon’s team is likely to have 2 basic arguments: That one sample wasn’t positive while the other barely and that it was second hand smoke based on the levels.
- The NFL will come back with the argument that you are responsible for what goes in your body, including second hand smoke.
- As we covered here yesterday, we believe the decision has been made, just not announced.
- Finally the NFL tends to work on precedence. The same way they said there was no precedence to suspend Ray Rice for knocking out his fiance for more then 2 games, precedence could be used in the Gordon case.
Which brings us to today. Yesterday the NFL made the Matt Prater 4 game suspension official by announcing it. A 4 game suspension for a kicker tends to not be a big deal, except when that kicker was facing the same year long suspension that Gordon is facing. Both Prater and Gordon are reportedly in the same phase of the Drug Policy and therefore facing the same punishment. Gordon’s was for marijuana mostly while Prater’s for alcohol. The language of the NFL Drug Policy does not seem to differentiate between the use of legal and illegal drugs, so the situations are still comparable.
Which leads to this statement from an ESPN report on the Prater suspension:
Prater was originally facing a year-long suspension, but attorney Harvey Steinberg told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that he got the penalty reduced to four games.
If Steinberg was able to get Prater off of the year long suspension when Prater admitted to drinking and has apologized for it, then it seems as if Gordon, who has not admitted to smoking, should have a chance.
(Important piece of drug testing information: Alcohol stays in the system, and is able to be detected, only within 8 hours of drinking while marijuana stays in your system between 21 and 30 days. Prater was obviously tested within 8 hours of drinking.)
No information is released as to how Steinberg got Prater off of the full year suspension but needless to say this should give some hope to Gordon, the Browns and their fans. Either that or Gordon should of hired Steinberg. It seems that Prater never went through the appeals process either, which seems to be the biggest difference between the two cases, outside of the substance used.
If Gordon gets a much stiffer penalty then Prater many questions will be raised and likely legal action will be sought by Gordon and his team. Legal action would likely allow Gordon to play this season while things play out in court. It could be why everything has taken so long. Neither side wants to budge but neither most likely wants to play things out in court.
What do you think of the Prater/Gordon connection?