We knew that Josh Gordon’s days with the Cleveland Browns were over, the question that remained unanswered until Monday was where the troubled but incredibly talented wide receiver would go next.
...You damn well knew he was going to the New England Patriots.
Despite reports swirling on Sunday that the Browns didn’t want to trade Gordon within the AFC, they’ve agreed to not only keep him in the AFC, but send him to the only team that has been to the Super Bowl three times this decade.
Trade now agreed to: Patriots are sending Cleveland a 5th-round pick and if Gordon isn't active for 10 games, Patriots get back a late-round pick from Browns, sources tell ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 17, 2018
As @rapsheet reported, Patriots were closing in on trade for Gordon.
Trade now official.
Full compensation trade update: Patriots send Browns a 2019 fifth-round pick for WR Josh Gordon and get back a 2019 seventh-round pick if he is not active for 10 games, source tells ESPN. Trade was supposed to be for a 6th-round pick, but Patriots don't have a 6th.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 17, 2018
Browns also spoke with Cowboys, Redskins, 49ers and others about a potential trade for Josh Gordon, and wanted to send him to NFC. But Patriots stepped in and closed.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 17, 2018
By the way, the Patriots released former Browns first-round pick Corey Coleman to make room for Gordon. What a bust Coleman turned out to be, and that’s saying something given Cleveland’s track record.
Gordon’s story is well-documented. He has had a history of substance-abuse difficulties and numerous suspensions both in college and the pros. In his absolute best year, and frankly his only great year in the NFL, he racked up a league-leading 1,646 receiving yards, 87 catches, and 9 touchdowns on a Browns team that finished 4-12 in the 2013 season.
At his best, Gordon is one of the best receivers in the game. Imagine putting up those numbers with Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, and Brian Hoyer as your quarterbacks. But more often than not, he’s not even been on the field for reasons that are widely known at this point. If any team can unlock the 27-year-old’s potential, it’s the Patriots. He could also effectively end up being another Koren Robinson, and this move doesn’t work out as many might expect. New England needs talent at WR, and for all of Gordon’s personal struggles, he is undoubtedly more talented than anyone on their current receiving corps, and they are evidently willing to take that chance and see if they can turn Gordon’s career around, and add more firepower to an offense that was held in check by the Jaguars over the weekend.
Oh yes, and that hamstring injury that Gordon suffered in a promotional shoot? He’s healthy enough to play this weekend against the Detroit Lions. Good luck with that, Matt Patricia.