As we’ve written in recent weeks, following Josh Gordon‘s appeal hearing earlier this week, hearing officer Harold Henderson will have to make an all-or-nothing judgment on the Browns wideout — either he upholds the year-long suspension for Gordon or eliminates the ban entirely, allowing the star receiver to take the field in Week 1. If a settlement is agreed upon by the league and the NFLPA, Gordon’s penalty could fall somewhere in between zero and 16 games, but according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, no negotiations on a settlement have taken place so far.
A compromise would seem to be in Gordon’s and the Browns’ best interests, since as Florio points out, even if he suspension is reduced to 15 games, that would allow the 23-year-old to rejoin the club by the end of the season and for the offseason — if he receives a year-long suspension, he wouldn’t be allowed to rejoin the team until next August. The fact that no negotiations have occurred could mean any number of things, but perhaps Gordon’s camp has confidence in its case, and expect the appeal to win out.
The NFL’s leading receiver in 2013, Gordon is facing a year-long ban for repeated violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy. However, his lawyers argued at his appeal hearing that his positive test was a result of second-hand smoke, calling into question the results of his test, in which one urine sample passed and one failed.
If no agreement is reached on a settlement, a decision from Henderson is expected within the next couple weeks.