The NFL has decided to uphold the year long suspension of Josh Gordon on Wednesday. Josh Gordon violated the NFL’s substance abuse policy and sustained his second suspension in his short career. There was hope that Gordon’s suspension would be negotiated down, but the NFL stuck with the year long ban.
According NFL Insider Ian Rapoport, the Cleveland Browns will be without their star receiver for the whole year. This was the final appeal, and Cleveland does not have any recourse for another decision on Gordon’s behalf.
Josh Gordon has already taken responsibility for his actions by apologizing in his earlier statement. Here’s an excerpt via NFL.com "I'd like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans," Gordon said in a statement. "I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing office didn't exercise better discretion and judgment in my case."
What was turning out to be a promising year for the Cleveland Browns took a downturn when Gordon’s suspension was announced after the first round of the NFL Draft. The prospects of Johnny Manziel teaming up with Gordon in 2014 never materialized.
Cleveland is not only missing their best receiver. They could be missing the best receiver in the entire NFL. Although, that distinction will undoubtedly stay with Calvin Johnson in Detroit.
At 6’3 225 pounds, Josh Gordon burst onto the season after his two game suspension in 2013. He finished the season with 87 catches for 1646 yards and nine touchdowns. Not only was Gordon productive in the receiving game, he was a big play threat with 18.9 yards per catch.
Cleveland was holding out hope that Gordon’s suspension would be reduced, but they have to learn how to live life without their top receiving threat. In two years, Gordon has amassed 137 catches, so this setback could be felt by the organization and player long into the future.
Cleveland’s passing game was already putrid during the preseason, and that was with Josh Gordon in the lineup. There’s no telling what Cleveland’s game plan becomes as the season moves on, but their original idea must be scrapped now.