AFC North Notes: Gordon, Manziel, Roethlisberger

A decision in the Josh Gordon appeal case might not be delivered until the end of next week, sources tell Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link). On August 4, we heard that a ruling would be handed down within one to three weeks — that time frame would set August 25 as the deadline, meaning the end of next week would be plausible. Gordon is facing a one-year ban for violating the league’s policy on drugs of abuse. As of last week, no settlement had been discussed, though it seems like a reduced suspension would benefit all parties involved.

  • We heard earlier today that the NFL is considering harsher penalties for domestic abuse incidents after the fallout of Ray Rice‘s two-game ban, but a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that increased discipline might not be that easy. The league would need to consult the NFL Players Association before installing stiffer suspensions, and per Florio, league management has not yet raised the topic with the union. While the NFL’s position might be that it controls all disciplinary regulations, Florio notes that the NFLPA would argue that any changes would need to be negotiated.
  • It had previously been reported that Johnny Manziel would start the Browns’ second preseason game, but according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter), Brian Hoyer will take the reins at quarterback against the Redskins. Both players will spend time with the first-team offense, tweets Rapoport, alternating every two series.
  • More Manziel: ESPN’s Chris Mortenen reports that the rookie quarterback, along with several other first-year players, were a few minutes late to a team meeting on Monday. The incident is being handled intenally, and was not a factor in the Browns’ decision to start Hoyer next week. The episode shouldn’t be a big deal, but it speaks to the media coverage that surrounds everything Manziel-related.
  • Ben Roethlisberger was hurt by former teammate Emmanuel Sanders‘ recent declaration that Peyton Manning is a “far better leader” than the Steelers quarterback, writes Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I wish he would have reached out to me and just say that and I would have been fine with it,” said Roethlisberger. “Whether he meant it or not, it hurt in a sense that I tried so hard to keep him here last year and was always supporting him.”
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