The Cleveland Browns will be without Josh Gordon for the entire 2014 NFL season, according to a statement from the NFL. Here's a statement from Josh Gordon:
"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 officer 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."
After failing another drug test, Gordon tried to avoid a season-long suspension due to a technicality in the test sample that led to him testing positive for a banned substance.
Gordon hired attorney Maurice Suh, who helped Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman win his appeal of a contested positive test in 2012. Gordon was hoping Suh could help him avoid a suspension in the same way Sherman avoided his for what was believed to be a failed test for Adderall use.
Gordon's positive test could have technically been considered a 'pass' if the test bottles had simply been labeled differently. He was in Stage III of the NFL's drug testing program as part of a negotiated two-game suspension he got last year for the use of cough syrup that contained codeine. Gordon has also reportedly passed at least 70 drug tests, but the one fail is what is costing him.
The Browns will be without their best offensive weapon this year. Despite being suspended in 2013 for two games for his first violation of the NFL's Substance Abuse Policy, Gordon led the Browns with 87 receptions and had nine touchdowns. He led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards and became the first player in NFL history with consecutive 200-yard receiving games.