UPDATE 4:20pm EST
The trade is now official. The Patriots are sending a conditional 5th-round pick to the Browns for Josh Gordon. Gordon must be active for 10 games in order for the Browns to receive a full compensation from the Patriots. In addition, according to Adam Schefter, Gordon is healthy and may make his debut this Sunday against the Lions.
After the Cleveland Browns let it be known they planned on releasing talented-but-troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon by Monday, interest across the leagued ramped up in order to acquire the talent. Well, it looks as though Gordon may have found a new home. According to Ian Rapoport, the Browns are nearing a deal to send Gordon to New England.
Since the start of the 2014 season, Gordon has appeared in just 11 games. He missed the entire 2015 season due to a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. He returned last season to play in five games for the winless Browns and appeared in just the opening tie against the Steelers this season.
However, in 2013 Gordon was arguably the best receiver in the game. That year, Gordon played in just 14 games and had 87 receptions for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. During one four-game stretch, he had 36 receptions for 774 yards and five touchdowns. All this while catching passes from the likes of Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, and current Patriot, Brian Hoyer. Now? He gets to catch passes from the best quarterback in the league in Tom Brady.
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With Julian Edelman serving a four-game suspension to start the season, the Patriots have been lacking depth at the position. Especially after other veteran acquisitions from the offseason haven’t quite panned out. However, when right, Gordon is by far one of the most talented receivers that Brady has ever played with. The Patriots and Bill Belichick are banking on him being right.
It Gordon hits the field relatively soon, starting week five against the Colts, the Patriots will flank Brady with Rob Gronkowski, Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, Philip Dorsett, and Chris Hogan. In addition to James White and the other running backs. Needless to say, it has the potential to be a formidable group.
Gordon had just one reception for 17 yards in a week one tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In five games last year, he had 18 receptions for 335 yards.