Not that it is a total surprise considering the rumors swirling around the last several days, but the Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting Cleveland Browns’ wide receiver Josh Gordon has officially had his bid for reinstatement denied by the league.
According to Mary Kay Cabot, who wrote the report, Gordon will be allowed to apply for reinstatement “later this year.” Previous reports indicate the league wants Gordon to stay clean for 2-3 months, which would put his timetable, at the earlier, of mid-summer. (Update: It’s now reported the earliest he can reapply is August 1st, nearly four months from now).
It’s a big blow to the Browns’ offense currently without much talent at wide receiver. Their top receivers, not including tight end Gary Barnidge, are Andrew Hawkins, Brian Hartline, and Taylor Gabriel. Expect the team to finally invest in a high draft pick this season. Offensive-minded head coach Hue Jackson certainly has his work cut out for him.
It also serves as a reminder about the fine line Martvis Bryant will walk for the next year, and really, the rest of his career. The NFL has no mercy in its decisions and can take months to officially determine if a player is eligible to play again.
If Bryant has even one slip up, a missed test or in Gordon’s case, a diluted sample, his suspension will only lengthen. Check out Matthew Marczi’s article from this morning on the subject. He covers it more extensively than I am here.