After weeks of speculation regarding the status of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, it was officially determined Wednesday that his year-long suspension will not be reduced.
According to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1, last season's receiving yardage leader will now miss the entire 2014 campaign:
It was first reported by T.J. Quinn and Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN.com in May that Gordon had failed a drug test for marijuana and was in line to be suspended for the whole season.
Gordon appealed and claimed that the failed drug test was a result of secondhand smoke, per ESPN's Adam Schefter, but that defense wasn't enough to change the ruling.
Per Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman, Gordon's past transgressions played a big role in not getting a reprieve this time around:
After the suspension was officially upheld, Gordon released a statement through the NFLPA, courtesy of NFL Network's Albert Breer.
I'd like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans. I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing office didn't exercise better discretion and judgment in my case. I would like to sincerely thank the people who have been incredibly supportive of me during this challenging time, including my family, my agent, my union, my legal team, and the Cleveland Browns staff.
Breer also weighed in on Gordon and the problems surrounding him:
Joe Banner, the former Browns CEO also commented on the news:
ESPN's Andrew Brandt viewed Gordon's statement as sour grapes since his secondhand smoke defense ultimately didn't fly with the NFL:
If it wasn't bad enough for Gordon and the Browns that he will miss all of 2014, it turns out that the suspension will last for a calendar year, which means he will have to sit out training camp in 2015 as well, per Schefter:
Gordon will not be permitted to have any contact with the team during his suspension, which is something that ESPN's Trey Wingo is not a proponent of:
Since the decision was upheld on appeal, that means there is no way for Gordon to seek reinstatement, according to Breer:
Even so, Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com would like to see Gordon and his camp make some noise regarding the NFL's marijuana policy:
As outdated as the policy may seem, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller points out that Gordon and every other NFL player must still follow the rules that are in place:
Also, it isn't as if Gordon is a first-time offender. He has been a big-time problem child in the NFL, which is why Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk isn't particularly outraged by the NFL's decision:
Now that such a significant punishment has been levied against Gordon, NFL Network's Rich Eisen believes that there will be no more "second chances" for Gordon should he screw up again:
Not surprisingly, Gordon's suspension has been compared to the two-game ban that will be served by Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. While Rice's offense of assaulting his wife is far more despicable than Gordon's, Rice will be the one playing when the Browns and Ravens meet in Week 3, as ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley points out:
With that in mind, Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune is disgusted by the NFL's handling of disciplinary situations:
The decision has been made, though, which means the Browns must now move on without Gordon. That may prove to be very difficult since quarterback Brian Hoyer—and perhaps eventually rookie Johnny Manziel—will have a mediocre cast of receivers to throw to, per SportsCenter:
Leave it to Jim Rome of CBS Sports to provide a reality check, however, as he believes the Browns were destined to struggle with or without Gordon:
Gordon is undoubtedly one of the NFL's most explosive, exciting and talented players, but none of that means anything without discipline. He has the ability to be an all-time great; however, it is now up to him to put this in the past.
The Baylor product will have one long year to think about this situation and whether or not he wants to be an NFL player. Whether the suspension is excessive or not, Gordon has nobody to blame but himself.
The big question now relates to whether he will use this as motivation or allow it to plunge him further into an abyss that he will never escape.
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