July 30, 2014 in Sports

NFL notes: Josh Gordon fights back against suspension

Ap
 
Associated Press photo

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon hopes to catch a break when he has his appeal hearing with the NFL on Friday.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

Josh Gordon has a new, high-profile teammate to help him fight the NFL.

Facing an indefinite suspension for marijuana use, Cleveland’s talented wide receiver has hired attorney Maurice Suh to represent him at his appeal hearing with the league this week, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. Suh, who helped Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman win an appeal for a suspension in 2012, will be with Gordon in New York on Friday, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks.

ESPN first reported Suh’s hiring.

Gordon is facing an indefinite ban under the league’s substance abuse policy. While he awaits his hearing, the Pro Bowler has been at training camp with the Browns. He has declined interview requests.

Suh helped Sherman win his appeal of a substance abuse violation on the grounds of a faulty test.

According to the person who spoke to the AP, Gordon will contend failed test results were caused by secondhand marijuana smoke. Gordon’s attorney also is expected to point out that Gordon only tested positive once despite being tested over 70 times, and even then two samples taken did not match.

ESPN and profootballtalk.com were first to report Gordon’s plans to clear his name.

Gordon, who failed at least three drug tests in college for marijuana, was suspended for two games last season for what he claimed was for a prescribed cough medicine. Despite the suspension, he still led the league in yards receiving and broke several team records. The 23-year-old reportedly checked into rehab following a recent DWI arrest in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Fan to face charges

Maryland authorities said they will charge a man with disorderly conduct in a cemetery for allegedly urinating on the grave of former Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell.

The man, who so far has been identified only as a Cleveland Browns fan, could face up to two years in jail and a $500 fine. He posted a video of the incident to YouTube this month.

“Everyone who has buried a loved one has the right to believe that their final resting place will be treated with respect,” Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said in a written statement. “Bringing charges against this individual should act as a deterrent to others and assure the rest of us that no matter who you are, indecencies will not be committed against your final resting place.”

Shellenberger said the man will not be identified until charges are filed and served.

Art Modell died in 2012 at the age of 87. He spent 43 years as an NFL owner, overseeing the Browns from 1961 until he moved the team to Baltimore in 1996 to become the Ravens. Modell served as league president from 1967-69, helped finalize the first collective bargaining agreement with the players in 1968 and was the point man for the NFL’s lucrative contracts with television networks.

Around the league

Authorities say Cardinals LB John Abraham was arrested on a drunken driving charge a month ago in the Atlanta area. Abraham has been absent from the team’s training camp since Friday. … Safety Jairus Byrd practiced with the Saints for the first time since his signing in March. Byrd, who had offseason back surgery, has been taken off of the Saints’ physically unable to perform list. … The 49ers have signed former Cardinals running back Alfonso Smith to a one-year deal. Smith’s signing comes after injuries to primary backups Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James in the last week.


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