It was reported Tuesday morning, by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, that several NFL teams are interested in acquiring Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon. The Browns have stated that they are not. According to a team source Cleveland is not interested in trading the talented but oft-suspended receiver.
“Cleveland has tried to establish an environment in which Gordon could thrive, and many around league believe Hue Jackson would be the right coach for him,” Schefter said. “Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see if any team is willing to part with enough to get the Browns interested.”
Cleveland Browns Not Trading Josh Gordon Makes Sense
At first most might think that it would be a good idea for the Browns to trade Gordon after all of the turmoil that has surrounded him for the last couple of seasons. But in looking deeper it makes all the sense in the world for Cleveland to hold onto Gordon.
Browns Won’t Get Anything in Return
Gordon has missed far too much playing time due to suspension. Teams might be interested in trading for the talented receiver, but they are not going to give up a lot to acquire him. If Gordon fails yet another drug test he would be suspended for an incredibly lengthy period of time and the other 31 teams know this.
It would make no sense for Cleveland to give up the potential of Gordon for a fifth, sixth or seventh round pick. And teams will not be offering a first, second, or even a third round pick for Gordon.
The Numbers and Production
In 2013 Gordon led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards and also had 87 receptions and nine touchdowns. But after putting up those numbers the talented receiver was suspended for 27 of the Browns next 32 games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. In 35 career games, all with the Browns, Gordon has 161 catches for 2,754 yards and 14 touchdowns. The former Utah Ute still has to serve a four game suspension this season. He is scheduled to return to the Browns for their Week 5 game against the New England Patriots, when Tom Brady is also set to return from a four game suspension.
If Gordon can be close to the player he was in 2013 and stay out of trouble and on the field he could be one of the more dynamic receivers in the league. True, that’s a big if, but Gordon is talented and athletic and he is capable of still producing close to the numbers he did in 2013. The bigger issue would be Gordon keeping himself available and on the field. Hopefully he now understands how close he is to losing football as a profession and he gets his act together.
Hue Jackson and Robert Griffin III
The Browns hired Hue Jackson as their head coach this off-season. The team and organization feel that Jackson just might be the head coach to get through to Gordon and to help keep the 25-year old receiver out of trouble. Time will tell if they are correct, but the Browns must give Jackson the chance to work with Gordon.
Cleveland also acquired Robert Griffin III this off-season and the former Baylor quarterback is set to be the Browns starting quarterback heading into the 2016 season. RG III doesn’t really have a ton of help at the receiver position this season. If the Browns want the former Heisman Trophy winner to succeed, after RG III failed to last with the Washington Redskins, keeping Gordon makes sense.
Gordon certainly has his fair share of red flags and he has done many unbelievably dumb things to try to torpedo his NFL career. But the Browns have waited a long time for him to return and trading him now does not make sense.