The Cleveland Browns will be without Pro Bowl receiver Josh Gordon for he entire 2014 NFL season. Could they allow him to play in the CFL?
He's apparently looked into the option, according to an ESPN report.
Gordon's plans include having a dialogue with CFL officials on whether he would be eligible to play there and still return to the NFL in 2015 if he is reinstated by commissioner Roger Goodell, sources said. He would remain under the NFL's treatment program, which would include counseling and random drug testing.
However, a CFL official says that, under league rules, Gordon would not be eligible to play in the CFL because teams are prohibited from signing a suspended player from any league who is under contract.
A league source confirmed that, saying, "He can't, per his NFL contract."
It's possible that a loophole could be found to allow Gordon to play in the CFL like Ricky Williams was able to do when he played for the Miami Dolphins, but was suspended for the entire 2006 NFL season.
The idea of suing the CFL to get in has been floated by Chris Mortenson.
One senses Gordon exploring the CFL option and being blocked is a precursor to legal action. Nobody in authority has said that...yet— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) August 28, 2014
Gordon wants to do this, and if the Browns let him, it will probably be for the Calgary Stampeders, who own his rights if he were to join the CFL.
Per league source, the Calgary Stampeders hold Josh Gordon's rights and want him badly.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 28, 2014
In 14 games last year, Gordon led the Browns with 87 receptions and nine touchdowns. He led the entire NFL with 1,646 receiving yards and became the first player in NFL history with consecutive 200-yard receiving games.
As for the Browns, maybe they should try and get one of the CFL's best receivers, since letting Gordon play there would be giving them one of the NFL's best.
Instead of allowing their best WR to go to CFL, #Browns should be trying to lure the CFL's best WR to Browns.— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) August 28, 2014
In the end, it doesn't look like the Browns like the idea of one of their best players playing for someone else.
Via @alexmarvez, who is currently tied up, the Browns aren't planning to grant Josh Gordon permission to play in the CFL.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 28, 2014