November 23, 2014

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Agent confirms Browns’ Josh Gordon gets appeal date

Josh Gordon

Josh Gordon

EASTLAKE — A date has been set for Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon to appeal his pending one-year suspension for violating the NFL’s illegal substance policy.

Gordon’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said he wasn’t permitted to reveal when the hearing will take place with league officials, but admitted it would occur “in the near future.”

“Right now, that’s a league matter and everyone knows he has an appeal coming up,” Rosenhaus said Thursday after playing in the Joe Haden and Friends Softball Game at Classic Park.

“The CBA and NFLPA regulations really encourage agents not to talk about that kind of stuff — it’s confidential — and I really won’t have anything to say about it until afterwards.”

Rosenhaus, who was the inspiration for the “Jerry Maguire” movie character, also declined to speculate if Gordon’s recent DWI arrest would factor into the equation.

The Pro Bowl wideout has battled off-the-field issues throughout his football career, dating back to short college stays at Baylor and Utah. Cleveland selected him in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft.

Gordon was suspended for the Browns’ first two games last season after failing a league-administered drug test, but managed to set a franchise record with 1,646 receiving yards while catching a team-high 87 passes.

“I really can’t comment beyond that, I’m not permitted to divulge any of it,” Rosenhaus said when pressed for specifics about Gordon’s status. “I’m sure we’ll talk (with the Browns) about Josh some more, and continue to work together and do the best job we can for him collectively.”

Rosenhaus also represents Haden and linebacker Jabaal Sheard, the latter of whom is entering the final year of his contract with Cleveland. The Hollywood A-lister said discussions are ongoing with Browns general manager Ray Farmer, “but I wouldn’t say we’re close” to a deal.

“We’ve done some back and forth about Jabaal,” Rosenhaus said. “We are talking to them about an extension. I would say the best way to put it is we’re negotiating.

“I’m sure I’ll get together with the Browns at some point before training camp to talk to them some more about all of our clients.”

Rosenhaus was the highest-profile name at Haden’s inaugural celebrity softball game, which included seven of his Cleveland teammates and other select guests. A portion of the proceeds were donated to Captains Charities, a non-profit organization that benefits youth sports and educational programs.

The Lake County Captains — a Single-A member of the Midwest League and minor league affiliate of the Indians — hosted the four-hour event at their ballpark.

“This is real cool for me to see all of the fans here, and I promise you that next year is going to be bigger and better,” said Haden, who signed a five-year, $68 million extension with the Browns on May 13. “I’m going to keep it coming and I’m going to keep doing what I can to keep it fun here in Cleveland.”

A crowd of more than 2,500 was in attendance for the nine-inning game and home run derby, both of which were dominated by Browns cornerback Buster Skrine.

Skrine edged Cleveland quarterback Brian Hoyer 2-1 in the Home Run derby final, then won MVP honors in the game by belting a pair of three-run homers and making a leaping catch of a line drive at shortstop.

For the record, the Browns defense outslugged their offensive players 28-15.

“Joe is not only a great player, but a great person, which is why it was so important for me to be here,” said Rosenhaus, who is hosting a football camp for underprivileged kids in Miami this morning.

“It’s nice to see him get this great support. This is a beautiful ballpark and the fans are tremendous here. To see this kind of turnout, I can only imagine the support the Browns are going to get this year.”

Roll call

The other five Browns who participated in the game were wide receivers Miles Austin and Travis Benjamin, linebacker Craig Robertson and cornerbacks Jordan Poyer and T.J. Heath.

Poyer and Robertson gave Haden an ice-water shower following their team’s victory.

“Seeing everyone having this much fun is why I waited out a four-hour flight delay to get here,” Rosenhaus said, smiling.

Cleveland cornerbacks Justin Gilbert and Aaron Berry, safety Donte Whitner and running back Dion Lewis were also listed on the rosters, but did not attend. Additional no-shows were NFL players Torrey Smith, Carlos Dunlap, Tyrann Mathieu and Mike McGruder.

Rubber City sellout

All 25,000 free tickets for the Browns’ intrasquad scrimmage in Akron were distributed Thursday, less than 10 hours after they were made available to the public.

The “Family Day” event at the University of Akron’s InfoCision Stadium takes place Aug. 2.

“We are thrilled with our fans’ immediate response,” Browns president Alec Scheiner said. “We are striving to create memorable experiences for Browns fans, and Family Day is shaping up to be tremendous.”

Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com.

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