The Cleveland Browns don’t seem like they really know what they want to do with star wide receiver Josh Gordon. Recently reinstated by the NFL, Gordon finally has a chance to redeem himself for past failed drug tests, following a four-game ban to begin the 2016 season.
Josh Gordon Trade Rumors
The big question, of course, is if Cleveland cares to see if he’ll actually make good on what figures to be his final chance.
Just this week reports emerged that the Browns were taking in trade offers for Gordon, and not too look after, there were whispers that the team itself sparked the Josh Gordon trade rumors by releasing the info, themselves.
Did the Browns plant the Josh Gordon trade story to drum up interest? https://t.co/oRZzOd6nqp
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 24, 2016
Shortly after, the team came forward and declared they now are not interested in trading Josh Gordon, and probably never seriously considered doing so.
— Pro Football Rumors (@pfrumors) August 25, 2016
Can Gordon Be Trusted?
The Browns are a tough organization to believe here, for a couple of reasons. For one, Gordon is impossible to truly trust. This is a kid who was a red flag coming into the league and has been suspended two games or more every year since 2013. He missed all of 2015 with a year-long ban and even still hangs out with fellow headcase, Johnny Manziel.
On paper, Gordon is a major liability.
There’s more to hate. New head coach Hue Jackson comes in with a whole new system and approach and his fresh start had the Browns cleaning house in a massive way. The team cut ties with most of it’s previous receiving talent, cut Manziel and numerous other high profile talent and then drafted four new receiving options in the 2016 NFL Draft. The big one was first round wide receiver Corey Coleman, while Terrelle Pryor’s heavy inclusion in camp and preseason play suggests he could be in for a huge role, as well.
Very quickly, the excitement around a Josh Gordon return has turned into hesitance to fully bring him back.
So Much Upside
That being said, if Gordon can keep his head on straight and get back to being the player that dropped a ridiculous 87-1,646-9 line on the league back in 2013, the Browns would be foolish to pass on him. Right?
Perhaps, but if the Browns already love their other receiving talent, don’t trust Gordon for the long-term and think they can get something of value in return, it’d actually make even less sense not to cut ties with him.
Josh Gordon Prediction
So, what happens with Gordon, then?
This probably says it best: Josh Gordon has a price.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) August 25, 2016
It’s true that’s probably the case with most players, but guys like Aaron Rodgers and J.J. Watt simply aren’t getting traded. Gordon very well could.
There are without a doubt a long line of interested teams that both have a serious need at wide receiver and also may be willing to part with the right draft picks to make a deal happen.
If Cleveland is smart, they make a play for the best available offer and deal Gordon. Not only is he a liability to get suspended again, but after this season he is due for a new contract. Is that a situation the Browns really want to be in – one way or another losing a star talent potentially for nothing? That’s very doubtful.
Again, the list is long, but the teams that need wide receiver help or could be willing to throw caution to the wind the most are the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers and the St. Louis Rams. Cleveland would be wise to deal Gordon outside of the division, as well as the entire AFC, putting the likes of the Eagles, Panthers and Rams largely under the microscope. It’s also possible Gordon doesn’t get dealt, thrives in Cleveland, re-signs to a massive deal and ends up being one of the best receivers ever. Cleveland has to know all of that is a longshot, however.