JULY 24: Gordon’s appeal is now scheduled for August 1, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.
JULY 3: Gordon’s appeal hearing has been set for late July, a league source tells Florio. That hearing wouldn’t be necessary if the NFL and NFLPA reached an agreement on a reduced suspension before that point.
JUNE 23: Browns receiver Josh Gordon has appealed his looming season-long suspension for repeated violations of the league’s drug policy, but a league source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that a hearing on the matter has yet to be scheduled. Gordon missed two games in 2013 for drug-related offenses, and is facing his current ban as a result of marijuana use.
As Florio details, the Browns (and Gordon) surely want the situation resolved as swiftly as possible. A full-year ban would mean that Gordon cannot be with the team from the moment the suspension begins. If he loses his appeal in, say, August of this year, he would miss out on almost all training and workouts prior to the 2015 season, leaving him ill-prepared for regular season action.
It remains to be seen if a settlement could be in the works, continues Florio. Gordon was originally slapped with a four-game suspension in 2013, but that ban was negotiated down to two games. Reports have indicated that the league may lessen its penalties related to marijuana use, so perhaps a reduced suspension for Gordon would be a first step in that process. The Browns certainly want Gordon to return as soon as possible, as Cleveland’s depth chart at receiver is currently headlined by Andrew Hawkins, Miles Austin, and Nate Burleson.
Meanwhile, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets that even if Gordon’s suspension is lessened, he may still be banished from the Browns’ facility. While suspended players are not allowed to practice with their team, they are typically permitted to be present at the team’s headquarters, so this would deviate from the league’s standard procedure.