The hearing officer assigned to Josh Gordon‘s appeal case is facing an all-or-nothing mandate, so Gordon and the NFL could have extra incentive to try and negotiate a compromise ahead of time. There is a “slight chance” that a resolution will be struck by the two sides, a source with knowledge of the situation tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
Any deal reached presumably would entail a suspension for Gordon that lasts less than a year but would still keep him out of action for part of the 2014 season. If one side is less inclined to negotiate than the other, it’s possible that the hearing officer will signal that it would be wise for that party to be more open-minded. A compromise could be struck during the hearing or after it, so the only hard deadline for the two parties would be the point of final ruling. Florio notes that the ruling is expected to come fairly soon since the substance-abuse policy requires that the decision be issued with a “reasonable time.”
The battle gets underway today with Harold Henderson serving as the hearing officer. Yesterday, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer heard that the appointment of Henderson was “bad news” for Gordon as a source indicated that the second-hand smoke argument “won’t fly” with him.