Josh Gordon's arrest for DWI gives NFL little choice but year-long suspension

Jim Rogash

Cleveland's talented but troubled receiver has shown the NFL both the upside and downside of his Supplemental selection in 2012. He stood to miss the 2014 season for a failed drug test but a DWI arrest over the weekend adds even more problems.

If Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was looking to cement his chances of earning a season-long suspension this Fourth of July weekend, he succeeded.

Gordon is already facing a potential year-long ban due to another failed drug test, was arrested for suspicion of DWI outside Raleigh, N.C. Saturday after he was pulled over for driving 50 m.p.h. in a 35 m.p.h. zone. Based on his mug shot, it appears he has on appropriate American Fourth of July attire.

"We are aware of the matter and are disappointed to learn of this situation," Browns general manager Ray Farmer said in a statement. "We will comment further at the appropriate time."

Gordon was suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season, but still managed to lead the league in receiving yards, while becoming the first player in NFL history to have back-to-back 200-yard receiving games - a feat he accomplished in Cleveland's Week 12 and 13 losses to Pittsburgh and Jacksonville, respectively.

His third failed test should result in a year-long suspension, but talk suggested the suspension could be reduced. It's unlikely his recent arrest will help his leverage in that regard.

NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport responded to the initial Tweet of this article saying the league will consider each incident separately when determining the appropriate punishment, which makes sense. His failed drug test was under appeal, and should be weighed based on its own evidence. Still, if he would have picked up a DWI a year after his first failed NFL drug test, a significant punishment would still have been likely. Both may be weighed separately, but they're going to come to the same conclusion; it's patterned behavior dating back to his college days, and Gordon still has not shown he's capable of keeping himself clean.

Gordon was the a second-round Supplemental Draft pick by the Browns in 2012. He had played two seasons at Baylor, but was arrested after he and a teammate were found asleep in his teammate's car in a Taco Bell drive-through lane with marijuana in their possession. He failed a drug test after that, and was dismissed from Baylor. He transferred to Utah, but never played a game for the Utes, choosing instead to go the Supplemental Draft route.

Just 13 months ago, it was reported Gordon failed a drug test, and would be suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season. Another failed test would result in a year-long suspension. That failed test came in May of 2014. He appealed it, and the league was expected to meet in July to go over it.

That may be a formality now.

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