NFL roundup: Browns' Gordon headed for suspension

The SportsXchange

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon faces a season-long suspension for a positive marijuana test, his second violation of the NFL policy, according to an ESPN "Outside the Lines" report Friday.

Gordon told the network he was unaware of the report and directed all questions to Drew Rosenhaus, who said the information was not true. Gordon, 23, is the top playmaker on the roster. The Browns passed on two wide receivers in the top 10 of the 2014 NFL Draft on Thursday, dealing their initial pick to the Buffalo Bills, who drafted Clemson's Sammy Watkins.

Gordon was suspended last season without pay for two games but returned to catch 87 passes for 1,646 yards, including back-to-back 200-yard games in 14 regular-season games. Upon returning from this 2013 suspension, Gordon said the "banned substance" he was suspended for using was cough syrup that contained codeine.

---ESPN and NFL Network reported huge ratings spikes in their coverage of the NFL Draft on Thursday night.

The first round drew the networks' highest major-market television rating ever for the event as the two networks combined for an 8.64 overnight Nielsen rating, with ESPN accounting for 6.8 of that. ESPN announced via Twitter that Thursday night's viewership was 48 percent higher than last year's first-round coverage. NFL Network wrote via Twitter that its rating was 50 percent higher than in 2013.

Brad Adgate, director of research at Horizon Media, attributed the increase to an interest in where former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel would get selected. He fell to the Cleveland Browns at No. 22. Cleveland led all television markets with a 13.0 rating. The Browns made three trades and took two players -- Manziel and cornerback Justin Gilbert at No. 8.

---Cleveland Browns president Alec Scheiner said Friday that the team sold more than 1,500 season tickets in 12 hours after drafting quarterback Johnny Manziel in the first round.

Scheiner acknowledged that selecting Manziel would create a buzz, but said the team did not consider that in making the decision.

Manziel's No. 2 jersey is already popular with Browns fans -- even Miami Heat and former Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron was reported to have one -- but first-year coach Mike Pettine said Manziel has to earn the starting job.

---Coach Lovie Smith said Friday that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did not draft quarterback Johnny Manziel with the seventh pick of the NFL draft because Mike Glennon, who backs up Josh McCown, is the team's "quarterback of the future."

Some draft experts figured the Buccaneers would go with Manziel, who wound up with the Cleveland Browns with the 22nd pick, but Tampa Bay went instead with wide receiver Mike Evans -- Manziel's college teammate.

The Buccaneers signed free agent McCown, who played with the Chicago Bears last season, to a two-year contract worth $10 million in March and immediately anointed him as the starter.

---Minnesota Vikings first round draft pick Teddy Bridgewater revealed that the team tested him for an irregular heartbeat during a pre-draft visit.

Bridgewater, the former Louisville quarterback, was taken 32nd overall -- the last pick in the first round.

Bridgewater said he found out about his condition at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, but does not believe it will present a major problem for him in his NFL career.

---The Buffalo Bills traded wide receiver Stevie Johnson to the San Francisco 49ers for a conditional fourth round draft choice in 2015 on Friday.

Johnson became expendable on Thursday night, when the Bills traded up and selected wide receiver Sammy Watkins with the fourth pick in the first round of the NFL draft. The pick reportedly could become a third-rounder, depending on Johnson's production in San Francisco.

Johnson, who is a native of Fairfield in the San Francisco Bay Area, caught 57 passes for 597 yards and three touchdowns in 12 games for Buffalo last season.

---Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell said Friday that quarterback Blake Bortles, selected No. 3 overall in the NFL draft, probably will not be the team's starter in 2014.

Chad Henne, who had a 4-9 record as a starter for the Jaguars last season, will remain as the No. 1 quarterback, Caldwell said.
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