The potential Josh Gordon season-long suspension was a bombshell dropped by ESPN's T.J. Quinn and Don Van Natta Jr. before the second day of the NFL draft. The questions for whether he still will be suspended and for how long remain out there.
When the Browns didn't draft a receiver, there was hope they were confident Gordon would skirt the allegations or at least have the suspension reduced. Also, there were reports the NFL will re-examine the penalty for testing positive for marijuana use, which might be a "glimmer of hope" for Gordon, as ESPN.com's Pat McManamon writes.
The Browns did address their wide receiver position finally, signing Dallas Cowboys castoff Miles Austin on Thursday. Also, former Chicago Bear Earl Bennett is reportedly going to be brought in, as Jake Jones of KFBB-TV in Montana tweeted.
So, it is likely where there is smoke—pun intended—there is fire on Gordon. I recently drafted Gordon in the sixth round of a fantasy football magazine analysts draft, so there is some expectation here the suspension won't be for a full season. Sports Illustrated's Peter King expects the ban to be somewhere between eight and 16 games.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is sticking by Gordon, saying during a Pro Football Hall of Fame luncheon speech, per Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Josh is learning and growing and improving as a person. He's learning how to work hard. He's learning how to be a professional. Josh is a smart young man. All of us have made mistakes when we were that age. We're counting on Josh being a good football player for the Browns for a long time to come.
We spend a lot of time with all of our core players and Josh is obviously one of those. We have all spent a lot of time talking to Josh, and I'm not going to comment on the situation, but I'll say this, but I've been very pleased with his professional growth over the last year and the way he handles himself.
So, Haslam will see how all this unfolds in the coming weeks just like the rest of us.