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PFT: Josh Gordon's Grievance Still Coming to Try to Get to Free Agency Sooner

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the 2015 season is done for Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon, he's still going to try to fight for being able to become a free agent sooner than the 2018 season, according to Pro Football Talk:

Per a league source, Gordon will soon be filing a grievance with the assistance of the NFLPA challenging the unpaid suspension for missing a Saturday walk-through practice before the regular-season finale against the the Ravens.  The fight isn’t about getting the game check; it’s about getting credit for a sixth game in 2014 and in turn a year of credit toward free agency.

As long as the Browns don't cut Gordon in 2015, and if he avoids any further suspension, he will be in the final year of his rookie deal with the club in 2016. As it stands now, because of the Week 17 suspension in 2014, Gordon would be a restricted free agent in 2017, which basically means the Browns would easily be able to retain his rights for another year if they so choose to. If Gordon files and wins his grievance, though, Gordon would become an unrestricted free agent in 2017, meaning he could sign a lucrative contract with any team in the NFL. If he loses his grievance, he'd have to wait until 2018 to cash in.

I tried doing some digging into similar situations to Gordon's, which might benefit the Browns. In 2011, the Patriots suspended rookie DT Brandon Deaderick "for missing or being late for several team meetings."

While that might work in favor of the Browns, this won't -- CB Justin Gilbert was "essentially suspended" by the Browns in Week 17 too for missing team meetings, but it was already past the 4 PM deadline to suspend the rookie cornerback. Gordon's camp will make the case that he should've been inactive and fined, but not suspended, adding the extra incentive that it provided the Browns (RFA vs. UFA in 2017).

This is just a hunch, but I feel Gordon's group has a solid chance of winning this grievance, considering the circumstance and how rare suspensions for missing a team meeting are in the NFL.