The Cleveland Browns may be in a whole lot of trouble this season after losing their star wide receiver for the entire year. The year-long suspension of Josh Gordon has been upheld by the NFL. According to USA Today on Thursday, Josh Gordon's suspension begins right away and he is banned from all Cleveland Browns facilities.
The star wide receiver's punishment comes after yet another violation of the NFL substance abuse policy. Gordon tested positive for marijuana but contends in his August 1 appeal that it was due to second hand smoke. Of course with Gordon's long history of substance abuse issues, all of them being for marijuana, no one is really buying the second hand smoke defense.
Josh Gordon's NFL career is certainly at stake with his history of violations dating back to college. He will be allowed to apply for reinstatement into the NFL for the 2015 season but cannot come in contact with coaches or players in the meantime. This disconnect from the game and his teammates may ultimately lead to the end of his professional football career.
The lengthy suspension, essentially for failing multiple marijuana tests, has ignited debate about the fairness of the NFL's substance abuse policy. Many argue that banning marijuana for NFL players is outdated and needs to be changed. Sham Ibrahim, a well-known Hollywood pop culture artist had this to say about the suspension, "Another example of archaic marijuana laws and regulations destroying someones life and career. A plant should not hold that kind of power. Especially one that has legitimate medical uses." Although rules are rules, many are comparing the length of Gordon's suspension to that of Ray Rice. Rice only received a two game suspension after being caught on camera dragging his unconscious girlfriend (now wife) out of an Atlantic City elevator.
This may not play out well for the Cleveland Browns, who knew for several months that a long suspension for Josh Gordon was likely. The team failed to draft another high-level wide receiver in hopes that their star would be back for at least a few games.
Gordon probably won't be armchair quarterbacking this season though. It looks like there is a lot of interest from the Canadian Football League. The Calgary Stampeders have expressed interested in recruiting the troubled Gordon and he has likewise shown interest in playing for the CFL.