Josh Gordon pleads guilty to DWI to avoid automatic two-game suspension

Josh GordonCleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon pleaded guilty on Tuesday to driving while impaired. By pleading guilty before the NFL’s revised drug policy goes into effect, Gordon will reportedly be able to avoid an additional two-game suspension.

Under the league’s new drug policy, a first DWI offense triggers an automatic two-game suspension. A first offense under the old policy resulted in just a maximum fine of $50,000 and no suspension. According to Pro Football Talk, Gordon pleading guilty on Tuesday ensures that he will be subject to the guidelines of the old policy and will not receive an automatic suspension.

However, PFT also noted that Gordon’s guilty plea does not necessarily mean he is out of the woods. While the NFL can’t suspend him automatically under the old drug policy, there are exceptions where a player who has had other substance abuse issues can be suspended for a first-offense DUI.

When the NFL and the NFL Players Association officially pass the new drug policy, Gordon’s season-long suspension is expected to be reduced to 10 games. If his plan works and the guilty plea allows him to avoid an additional suspension for the DWI, Gordon would have a shot at playing six games this season. As Ben Volin of the Boston Globe pointed out, that would be enough games to accrue a full season.

Simply put, Gordon is trying to play the new and old drug policies to make the most of his situation.

Josh Gordon fantasy value rising, could return by Week 2

Josh GordonThose of you who took a chance on Josh Gordon in your fantasy drafts this season or held onto him as a keeper may soon be rewarded for your loyalty to the Cleveland Browns wide receiver. According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the NFL’s revised drug policy, if approved, could have Gordon back on the field as early as Week 2.

Under the new policy, which is still being negotiated by the NFL and NFL Players Association, the threshold for a positive marijuana test would be 50 nanograms per milliliter. Gordon’s sample measured 16 ng/ml, which would be well below the threshold. Gordon is in Stage Three of the league’s drug program, which would mean any failed test results in a one-year suspension. But if the threshold is raised that much, his test would become negative.

As Cabot notes, there is still some confusion as to whether Gordon’s failed test would be considered part of the new league year. The new league year started March 11, and it is unclear if the new policy will apply to players who tested positive after the start of the new league year or those who were suspended after March 11. Cabot reports that the NFL has known about Gordon’s suspension since February, which could complicate his situation.

In addition, let us not forget that Gordon was also busted for a DWI back in July. The NFL is reportedly seeking a minimum two-game suspension for first-time DWI offenders. Gordon’s hearing for his DWI has been pushed back to November, meaning if he is found guilty he could wind up serving a two-game suspension for that later in the season.

There are obviously still a lot of moving parts, but the future suddenly looks bright for Gordon and Wes Welker. Nothing is set in stone, but we wouldn’t blame fantasy owners if they started getting a little giddy.

Josh Gordon to work as car salesman during suspension

Josh GordonJosh Gordon is forbidden from playing in the NFL until next season, but that doesn’t mean he plans to sit around without a job all fall and winter long. ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported on Thursday morning that Gordon has taken a job working for the Sarchione Auto group in Randolph, Ohio. Yes, the Cleveland Browns star will be selling cars.

Gordon will be assisting with “all aspects” of business with the Sarchione group, which includes the Sarchione Ford and Sarchione Chevrolet dealerships. In addition to working as an on-floor salesman, Gordon will also lead community outreach efforts that include working with the Wounded Warrior Project. He starts work this weekend.

[Related: Josh Gordon's second-hand smoke defense gets shut down]

Is this a public relations stunt? Of course it is, but it’s also a wise one. As it stands now, Gordon’s suspension spans an entire year. That means he would miss most of training camp and the preseason with the Browns next year in addition to all 16 regular season games in 2014. If the 23-year-old stays out of trouble and proves he is cleaning up his act, the NFL can reinstate him sooner so he can participate in offseason training.

Assuming Gordon passes all of his drug tests and continues to lend a helping hand within the community, early reinstatement is a definite possibility.

Also see: Josh Gordon featured in photo in bed with expensive escort

Josh Gordon and escort Jenna Shea in bed together

Jenna Shea escort Josh Gordon

Josh Gordon may be suspended for the season, but at least the Cleveland Browns wide receiver still has plenty of support.

The same day the NFL announced they were upholding Gordon’s season-long suspension, Jenna Shea, a $1,000-an-hour escort, sent the following tweet comforting the receiver:

That link goes to an Instagram picture (seen above) of Shea in bed with Gordon. The photo is at least six months old, because back in February Gordon shared a photo on Instagram showing all the detail he’s added to his tattoo since then.

But it sounds like Gordon and Shea have been together even more recently.

Shea sent this tweet (she deleted the Instagram pic) of an Aug. 22 plane ticket from Dallas/Fort Worth to Cleveland:

Jenna Shea Josh Gordon plane

First class ticket to Cleveland? She must be big time. So who is this $1,000-an-hour escort Gordon is hanging out with?

Head to Page 2 to see more about Jenna Shea.

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Josh Gordon interested in playing for CFL team that ‘badly’ wants him

Josh GordonJosh Gordon is reportedly interested in playing in the Canadian Football League while he is suspended from NFL action for the next year, but is there any way he can make that happen? Probably not.

According to Pro Football Talk, the Calgary Stampeders hold the rights to Gordon and “badly want to sign him.” ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported on Wednesday morning that Gordon was exploring the possibility of playing for Calgary, but it doesn’t sound like he has a chance. There are a number of reasons for that.

For starters, a CFL official said the league’s rules prohibit players who are under contract but suspended from another league to play for a CFL team. Ricky Williams played for the Toronto Argonauts while under suspension from the NFL in 2006, but he was apparently able to do that by way of a loophole that has since been closed.

To make Gordon’s wish even less likely to come true, there is a provision in his contract with the Cleveland Browns that would prevent him from heading north of the border to play. Gordon would need the team’s permission, and Mary Kay Cabot reports — unsurprisingly — that the team is not willing to grant it.

If Gordon really thought he should be allowed to play in Canada while suspended from the NFL, he could always explore legal action. The chances of him getting anywhere are slim to none.

Josh Gordon appeal denied, one-year suspension upheld

Josh GordonCleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been suspended for the entire 2014 season. The suspension ruling was officially upheld on Wednesday after a long appeal process.

“I’d like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans,” Gordon said in a statement. “I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing office 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.”

Gordon had maintained that he failed his most recent drug test because of second-hand marijuana smoke. His attorneys also argued that a significant flaw in the NFL’s testing process resulted in Gordon testing positive. That argument is broken down in more detail here.

Gordon was suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season after testing positive for using codeine syrup as a recreational drug. He was then placed in the NFL’s Stage III drug program and has since had to pass 10 drug tests per month. The 23-year-old was also arrested for driving while under the influence in July, two months after his failed marijuana test.

Could Josh Gordon succeed with second-hand smoke defense?

Josh GordonJosh Gordon is set to appeal his failed drug test on Friday. He is reportedly planning to use the second-hand smoke defense, which is one we have heard from players in the past but rarely holds up during the appeals process. But as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk outlined on Tuesday, Gordon might actually have a shot.

After he tested positive for the use of codeine syrup and was suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season, Gordon was placed in the NFL’s Stage III drug program. That means he has to pass 10 drug tests per month, and Florio reports that he has passed around 70 of them. And the one time Gordon did test positive, half of his urine tested negative. Florio breaks it down:

Urine samples routinely are split into two bottles, the “A” bottle and the “B” bottle. If the “A” bottle generates a positive result, the “B” bottle is tested. Amazingly, the “B” bottle doesn’t have to independently show a violation. Instead, the substance abuse policy states that the “‘B’ bottle Test need only show that the substance, revealed in the ‘A’ bottle Test, is evident to the ‘limits of detection’ to confirm the results of the ‘A’ bottle Test.”

In English, close counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and “B” bottles.

For Gordon, the “A” bottle showed a concentration of 16 ng/ml, only one nanogram per milliliter above the limits of 15. The “B” bottle showed a concentration of 13.6 ng/ml — less than the threshold.

In other words, Gordon may have failed his test simply because of the way the sample cups were labeled. Had the arbitrary “A” and “B” labels been swapped, the first urine sample tested would have been negative and he would have passed. Regardless of the way Gordon’s case turns out, that seems like a pretty significant flaw in the NFL’s testing system.

Independent of the A/B dilemma is the fact that one of Gordon’s samples tested just one nanogram per milliliter above the legal limit of 15, whereas the second sample tested 1.4 nanograms per milliliter below. While limits are limits for a reason, does Gordon have a case with the second-hand smoke argument because of how close he was to passing?

For what it’s worth, Gordon recently hired Maurice Suh — the attorney who helped Richard Sherman convince the NFL to nix his four-game suspension after he tested positive in 2012. Gordon is still facing a one-year suspension if he loses his appeal, but I wouldn’t be cutting him from my fantasy keeper league just yet.