Before the Patriots acquired Josh Gordon, the 49ers were among the clubs to contact the Browns about Josh Gordon. Apparently, their interest didn’t last long. Niners GM John Lynch admits that he kicked the tires on the talented wide receiver, but ultimately it wasn’t worth the risk.
“I think in that situation, like any situation, if there’s a chance to improve your team, you always look into it,” Lynch said on KNBR (transcription via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle). “But in certain situations, particularly when you have knowledge of a player, you sit back and you weigh it. Sometimes it’s intriguing. But then, particularly when you have knowledge of someone, the more you look into it: You know what — we’re going to stay away from that.”
Clearly, Gordon’s previous trouble hurt his trade value. The Patriots first agreed to send a fifth-round pick to Cleveland in exchange for Gordon and a conditional seventh-round pick. Then, at the last minute, the Pats convinced the Browns to remove the conditions from the late selection, which essentially knocked the total price down to a sixth-rounder. Had there been comparable proposals elsewhere, one has to imagine the Browns would have pivoted to another team.
The 49ers may or may not regret the decision to pass on Gordon as they gear up for a Week 3 shootout against the Chiefs. Meanwhile, Gordon’s Patriots debut is expected to come on Sunday against the Lions.