Josh Gordon

49ers Backed Out Of Josh Gordon Chase

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.

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Patriots, Browns Adjust Josh Gordon Trade

On Wednesday morning, Patriots coach Bill Belichick refused to acknowledge the completion of the Josh Gordon trade, even though it had already been announced by both teams and published on the NFL’s transactions wire. As it turns out, the two sides were still haggling over the exact terms of the trade. 

Initially, the Patriots agreed to send a fifth-round pick to the Browns in exchange for Gordon and a conditional seventh-round pick, with the condition being that the seventh-rounder would be conveyed only if Gordon was not active for ten games. Thanks to some last minute tinkering, the Patriots will receive the seventh-round pick regardless of how many games the wide receiver dresses for, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link).

Reading between the lines, it sounds as though the Browns buckled under the threat that the Patriots would back out of the trade if the conditions of the seventh-round pick weren’t 86’d. That may be an indicator that no other club was willing to best New England’s revised offer.

Now that the trade is officially official, the Patriots will have Gordon available for Sunday’s game against the Lions. They’ll also have an extra seventh-round pick in their arsenal, one that either belongs to the Jaguars or Steelers. It won’t be the Browns’ original seventh-round choice, because that was shipped out to Miami in the Jarvis Landry trade.

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Patriots, Browns Complete Josh Gordon Deal

On Wednesday morning, Bill Belichick told reporters that the Josh Gordon trade was not yet completed, despite the deal being announced by both the Patriots and Browns. Now, the deal is official.

Gordon suited up for Pats practice after the Browns agreed in writing to send a seventh-round pick to New England along with the talented wide receiver. In return, the Browns will receive a fifth-round pick, one that reportedly comes with no strings attached.

Given Gordon’s immense potential, the trade haul for the Browns is underwhelming, to say the least. However, the Patriots’ offer was said to be the best of the bunch after the club discussed Gordon with a number of other teams, including the Jets and 49ers.

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Josh Gordon Fallout: Browns, Pats, Cowboys

While Josh Gordon reportedly went through an MRI that didn’t reveal substantial hamstring trouble, he did suffer an injury while filming a promotional video Friday night, Zac Jackson of The Athletic reports. The Browns lost patience with Gordon not because of an injury, per Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com but because of his off-field issues. The latest in that long line of incidents appears to have taken place in the Cleveland area Friday night. Gordon misled the Browns by saying he was participating in a photo shoot for his clothing line at the team’s facility, when in actuality he was doing drills for a hype video, Jackson reports.

Gordon participated in the filming of this video for up to 90 minutes, per Jackson, who adds a 40-yard dash was involved. But the final shoot was called off after he grabbed his hamstring while doing drills. This occurred just before midnight Friday. Gordon then missed a team meeting Saturday morning and after arriving 10 minutes late went into the training room, Jackson adds. He did participate in the portion of the Browns’ Saturday-morning workout open to the media, Cabot reports, running myriad routes, further complicating this saga. For what it’s worth, Yahoo’s Charles Robinson (via Elaine Benes GIF) expresses the prevailing league sentiment on Gordon’s recent injury (Twitter link).

Here’s the latest fallout from this major September trade:

  • The Patriots did this because they are “desperate” for another playmaker on offense, Robinson notes. Both Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels have become “acutely aware” the team lacks a viable deep threat, Robinson writes. New England has made 28 transactions at wide receiver since the start of this league year, the headliner being a trade of Brandin Cooks to the Rams for a first-round pick — which became a player (offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn) who can’t contribute until at least 2019. The Jaguars muzzled the Pats’ attack for much of the teams’ AFC championship game rematch Sunday.
  • Robinson also debunks the notion the Cowboys were pursuing Gordon. Both Robinson and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill (Twitter link) report the Cowboys had “no interest” in the 27-year-old receiver. Although Dallas is thinner at wide receiver (in terms of reliable producers) than just about any franchise, the team was not exploring a Gordon deal — contrary to a previous report that indicated it was. Perhaps brief conversations involved Gordon, per Clarence Hill of The Athletic (on Twitter), but the front office didn’t approach Jason Garrett about that prospect.
  • The 49ers did not bid what the Patriots did for Gordon, Kyle Shanahan said, via Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com (on Twitter). John Lynch confirmed the 49ers’ interest in Gordon, but the Browns — as they have with many trades in recent years — chose a Patriots offer instead.
  • Gordon is not believed to be doing especially well financially, per Cabot, who reports the wideout who is making $790K this season “owes people money.” Gordon’s involved in a child-support battle with the mother of his 3-year-old daughter and has not received much NFL money since the 2013 season. Cabot wondered if this turn of events was a way for Gordon to get to free agency early, but after the subsequent trade to the Patriots, he’s still attached to that 2012 rookie contract. She argued, prior to the trade, for the Browns to exercise more patience here unless a much better offer came along. But they cut the cord for a fifth-round pick.
  • Gordon’s contract being non-guaranteed breaks the Patriots’ payments down into $46K increments, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes. The Pats can cut Gordon free of any dead-money charges. A second-round RFA tender in 2019 would cost about $3MM, but Volin argues the team might be better served to give Gordon an original-round tender since the Patriots would still receive a second-round pick in return from a team that signs Gordon to an offer sheet (because he was a second-round pick). The low-end tender should be worth approximately $2MM in 2019.

Patriots To Acquire Josh Gordon

It’s a done deal. Josh Gordon is headed to the Patriots, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The Pats will send a fifth-round pick to the Browns for the former All-Pro.

Gordon is expected to play for the Patriots on Sunday night against the Lions, Schefter reports (via Twitter). The Patriots will receive a 2019 seventh-round pick from the Browns if Gordon is unable to play 10 games with New England this season, per Schefter (on Twitter).

The Patriots will waive former Gordon Browns teammate Corey Coleman to make room, Field Yates of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

This trade was initially supposed to be for a sixth-round pick, but with New England not having a 2019 sixth, Schefter adds Cleveland will receive a fifth for Gordon. The Browns wanted to send Gordon to the NFC, and Schefter tweets they discussed the seventh-year wideout with the Cowboys, Redskins and 49ers before the Patriots stepped up. The Gordon market was vast but not flush with strong offers, with Albert Breer of SI.com tweeting a sixth-rounder was set to get this deal done before the Pats agreed to part with a fifth.

The 27-year-old wide receiver recently underwent a hamstring MRI, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that the scan came out fine. That would put him on track to play for his new team on Sunday night.

This ends a six-plus-year saga for Gordon in Cleveland. He’s leaving a team that’s won one game since the start of the 2016 season and heading to this era’s most successful franchise. Gordon could be controlled on his 2012 rookie contract through the 2019 season. He’s set to be a restricted free agent after 2018.

John (Dorsey) got the best he could,” Hue Jackson said Monday (via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com).

Some in the Browns’ organization believe Gordon slipped in his recovery program, per Cabot, who adds it wasn’t Gordon’s hamstring issue but his rampant off-field issues that finally prompted the Browns to cut the cord. They first announced they were planning to cut Gordon. That understandably generated a trade market for the mercurial talent, and Dorsey will add draft capital as a result. Although if Gordon proves healthy and available for the Pats, he’ll be worth more than a fifth-round pick.

But the Patriots are comfortable enough to make a deal. They are getting a player who delivered one of the greatest receiving seasons in NFL history, albeit way back in 2013, and one of the league’s most notorious suspension risks. Gordon’s missed all but 11 games since the start of the 2014 season.

Gordon will add not only to the extensive Browns-Pats pipeline that’s formed — joining Jamie Collins, Barkevious Mingo, Jason McCourty and Danny Shelton among notable players these franchises have exchanged recently — but represent another Bill Belichick reclamation project. He’ll join Corey Dillon, Randy Moss, Chad Johnson and Albert Haynesworth in that club and represent more risk than each, given his history.

The Patriots, however, could well be facing a closing championship window — with Tom Brady now 41 — and have made 28 wide receiver transactions since the 2018 league year began. They’ve attempted for months to find weapons for Brady; they’ve now landed the most interesting possible piece.

New England is without Julian Edelman until after Week 4 and have been discussing receivers with other teams leading up to their Gordon deal. The former second-round supplemental pick joins a receiving corps headed by Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett.

Belichick will gamble the newest Patriot can stay on the field. Gordon missed all of the 2015 and ’16 seasons due to substance-abuse trouble, incurred a 10-game 2014 ban and did not suit up for the Browns until December 2017 post-reinstatement. Gordon also missed Browns training camp, reportedly checking himself into a rehab facility in fear of another substance-abuse relapse. He also admitted he’d played under the influence since high school, so his future with another organization will be interesting to follow.

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Patriots Nearing Deal For Josh Gordon

The Browns-Patriots trade pipeline might be set to produce its biggest deal yet. The Patriots are discussing a deal for Josh Gordon, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter) they are getting close to hammering out an agreement.

Cleveland announced intentions of jettisoning its mercurial pass-catching talent on Saturday, and as many as 10 teams have contacted the Browns about Gordon. The Patriots appear to be one of them. They’ve been discussing wideouts with other teams as well, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter).

New England would make sense for Gordon, given its issues at wide receiver and Tom Brady now in his age-41 season. The superstar wideout would be an upgrade for the Pats, who are still two games away from getting Julian Edelman back. Edelman and Gordon obviously do not have similar skill sets, so the two could (on paper) coexist for a team trying to keep its Super Bowl championship window open.

While not all of Bill Belichick‘s gambles have worked out, the additions of Corey Dillon in 2004 and Randy Moss three years later paid off massively for the Patriots. Gordon has encountered far more trouble than either but is not believed to be facing another suspension. He played in Week 1 for the Browns, catching a touchdown pass, but was deactivated on Sunday after apparently injuring his hamstring during a promotional video shoot.

The 49ers and Jets were believed to be interested, John Lynch admitted he inquired about the 27-year-old talent, and rumblings about a Gordon-to-Philadelphia scenario have surfaced. But Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports doesn’t believe the Eagles are in the Gordon hunt (Twitter link).

The Patriots may be willing to make the best offer. New England and Cleveland have agreed to deals on Jamie Collins, Danny SheltonJason McCourty and Barkevious Mingo in recent years. A Gordon-to-Foxborough agreement, though, would easily surpass these in terms of headline impact.

Best known for his rampant unavailability and a historically dominant 2013 season, earning him a first-team All-Pro honor prior to his slew of suspension troubles, Gordon going to New England would be fascinating. He’s obviously never played with a quarterback on Brady’s level and has two possible years of team control on his 2012 rookie contract. Gordon will be a restricted free agent after this season.

Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett reside as the Pats’ top available receivers. No player is perhaps further away from being a sure thing than Gordon, his having missed all but 11 games since the start of the 2014 season, but Albert Breer of SI.com notes Gordon could potentially be had for a late-round pick. With so many teams inquiring, it’s conceivable Cleveland could net a mid-round selection for its most talented receiver, but Gordon’s baggage could limit the haul.

Browns Expected To Trade Josh Gordon Today

The Browns are expected to trade wide receiver Josh Gordon today, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links), who adds Cleveland could conceivably receive a conditional pick that could ultimately become a mid-round selection.

Eight-to-ten clubs have contacted the Browns regarding Gordon’s availability, per Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link), and some teams are reportedly “adamant” that their interest in Gordon be made public. 49ers general manager John Lynch admits he’s reached out to Cleveland about Gordon, as Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area writes, while the Jets have some interest but are unlikely to acquire Gordon, reports Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. The Cowboys, meanwhile, are not in the running for Gordon, tweets Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News.

Gordon, of course, has dealt with numerous off-field issues during his career, but it doesn’t appear as though he’s suffered any sort of relapse to precipitate the Browns moving on from him. Instead, Cleveland has developed “trust issues” with its 27-year-old pass-catcher, who reportedly injured his hamstring during a recent photo shoot. Indeed, part of rival clubs’ analysis on Gordon will include how long it will take him to recover from said injury.

Any team that acquires Gordon will take on the remainder of his $790K base salary for the 2018 season. Gordon, whose contract has tolled multiple times during his career, will become a restricted free agent at the end of the year.

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Several Teams Have Inquired On Josh Gordon

Shortly after the Browns announced their plan to release Josh Gordon yesterday evening, we heard that rival clubs were already calling Cleveland to inquire about trading for the troubled wideout before he hits the open market. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk lends further credence to those reports, writing that a few teams have indeed discussed a trade with the Browns.

It is not surprising that teams would be interested in the tremendously-talented Gordon from a pure football perspective, but it would be surprising if a club surrendered draft capital to acquire him if there were truth to the speculation that Gordon had suffered a relapse in his battle with substance abuse. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter) that the Browns’ decision to part ways with Gordon is not drug-related, though he did injure his hamstring during a team photo shoot. Given Gordon’s history, of course, it is fair to be skeptical of the circumstances surrounding his impending departure, and one league executive said, “if [the Browns] are letting him go, something is up” (Twitter link via ESPN’s Josina Anderson).

But assuming that Gordon has not run afoul of the league’s substance abuse policy, we could see the Browns strike a deal to send him elsewhere, though there are no concrete reports as to which teams have expressed interest. Florio speculates that the 49ers, Patriots, Seahawks, and Cowboys could be in the running, but Calvin Watkins of The Athletic tweets that he does not expect Dallas to make a play for Gordon.

Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, citing the 49ers’ previous interest in Gordon, says he would not be surprised if San Francisco were one of the clubs willing to trade for him, though he suggests that any trade would include only conditional compensation (Twitter link). Any team that does trade for him would take on the balance of Gordon’s $790K contract this year — a bargain if he can stay on the field — and would have the right to keep him under club control with a a restricted free agency tender in 2019.

Rapoport tweets that Gordon himself is most interested in the Cowboys and 49ers, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that the Browns intend to trade Gordon to an NFC club (Twitter link).

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Reactions, Notes On Josh Gordon Situation

Josh Gordon news continues to come flying in in the wake of the Brownsstunning announcement earlier today. There have been plenty of developments, including reports of a possible relapse and that the Browns will look to trade Gordon rather than release him.

The Browns would clearly prefer to get assets back rather than cut him for nothing, and it appears they may get their wish. “As many as five teams are researching possibly trading for Gordon” according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link) who notes that “Cleveland has a market.” It’s unclear what any potential compensation would be, but it likely won’t be anything too valuable. A later round pick, perhaps even a conditional one, seems more likely at this point despite all of Gordon’s talent.

Here’s more surrounding the situation:

  • In the aftermath of the Gordon news, many immediately began suspecting the Browns would reach back out to Dez Bryant, who they had brought in for a visit and reportedly made an offer to. But Bryant’s name “hasn’t come up around the building lately” and the Browns are “not certain he wants to play football” according to Josina Anderson of ESPN (Twitter link).
  • One team that was quickly brought up in connection to Gordon was the Cowboys. But despite their dire need for a number one receiver, don’t expect Dallas to be a player for Gordon writes Calvin Watkins of The Athletic (Twitter link,) who says “I just don’t see the Cowboys investing in” the troubled young wideout.
  • It was initially reported that Gordon would go on waivers, and any team could claim his contract if Gordon was let go, but that’s not true. Gordon would become a free agent if the Browns aren’t able to work out a trade as former NFL agent and current CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry explains (Twitter link). Gordon spent at least three games on a roster for a total of four seasons, barely meeting the threshold to avoid waivers.

Browns Will Look To Trade Josh Gordon

New details are pouring in on the shocking release of Josh Gordon. It was reported by Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com that Gordon “wasn’t himself” at the team facility earlier today and that the team suspected he had relapsed.

Now it’s being reported that the Browns will attempt to trade Gordon before releasing him by Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link). Schefter writes there are”teams already calling the Browns” and that sources think the Browns are “far more likely to trade Josh Gordon than release him.” It also makes sense for the Browns to try and get assets back for him rather than dumping him for nothing. The Browns’ initial statement where they said they would be releasing Gordon “on Monday” and not right away always seemed curious and this helps explain why.

Since Gordon has spent time on a roster during at least four seasons, he won’t be subjected to waivers if he were released. He would be free to sign with any team and potentially spark a bidding war. As such, it makes sense that teams would try to swing a trade for him to get him at his current relatively cheap contract.

There was also mystery surrounding Gordon’s hamstring. It was initially reported Gordon would miss the Browns’ Week 2 game against the Saints with a hamstring injury. Gordon “hurt his hamstring at a promotional shoot, not at practice” according to Schefter (Twitter link). Gordon suffering the injury likely contributed to what people are describing as “trust issues” between Gordon and Cleveland. Be sure to keep checking back, as this story will almost surely develop further.

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