CLEVELAND, OH – Before Cleveland Browns training camp began, you kind of knew where you stood with Josh Gordon. His continuous mishaps and poor decisions were enough to sway you from giving him the benefit of the doubt. For all the talent in the world on the football field, multiple signs proved that Gordon just didn’t get “it” and would not step inside First Energy Stadium in 2014. But, the NFL is a business and Gordon has some tricks up his sleeve just two days before his appeal hearing. Just a day after Adam Schefter‘s report came out that the receiver had hired Maurice Suh, the same lawyer who bailed out Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, Gordon and Browns fans may have one more reason to hold hope – a urine sample.
As reported by Mike Florio yesterday, urine samples are divided into two samples, bottle “A” and bottle “B”. It’s a pretty simple concept, if bottle “A” tests positive, then bottle “B” is then tested. However, bottle “B” does not need show a violation above the limit, but instead must show the substance revealed in bottle “A”. Then, it must evident to the limits of detection to prove that bottle “A” was a violation. To use Florio’s awesome analogy and something my grandfather preached to me daily when I was a young boy, “Close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades”.
The thing to keep in mind here is that Gordon is in the Stage III of the NFL’s Substance Abuse Program. As long as an NFL player is in Stage III, he must pass up to 10 drug screenings per month. According to Florio’s source close to the situation, Gordon passed at least 70 drug tests while in the program. Add this key piece of information to Gordon’s victim of second-hand smoke claim and the punishment just may be lightened.
Finally, we must keep in mind the business aspect of the NFL and it’s millions of followers. Arguably, Gordon is the NFL’s best wide receiver. Despite missing the first two games of last season, Gordon led the NFL in receiving yards with 1,646 yards and set a record for two consecutive games with 200 or more yards. The NFL needs Gordon on the field period.
With everything the Browns have done so far and having Gordon play this season, Cleveland will be must watch television. While this writer has no desire to comment on the Baltimore Ravens and Ray Rice, this is a chance for the NFL to redeem themselves with the decision on Gordon. For the city of Cleveland and their loyal fans that wake up every day rooting this team on win, lose, or draw, anything less than a six game suspension is a victory. In the meantime, all we can do as wait till Friday for answers.
Ryan Ruiz is the Cleveland Browns Beat Writer for The Inscriber: Digital Magazine. You can follow him on Facebook: Ryan (BrownsWriter) Ruiz and Twitter @ryanpruiz24. Ryan is also a Browns correspondent for The Sportsfix. Tune in every Friday at noon on www.thesportsfix.net. Email Ryan at email@example.com