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Agent: Brown Has Not Asked For Trade

On Tuesday morning, Mike Tomlin told reporters that Antonio Brown has not asked to be traded from the Steelers. Now, Brown’s agent has confirmed that the wide receiver is not looking to leave Pittsburgh. 

The tweet [on Monday] was not in reference to anything other than Antonio responding to a person he knows. It was not directed towards a trade, or wanting to be trading. Any idea he was asking for a trade is not accurate,” agent Drew Rosenhaus said in a statement to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter links).

Rosenhaus went on to explain that Brown’s surprising absence from Monday’s practice was not tied to any sort of dissatisfaction with the club.

Antonio had a personal matter. I talked to the team about it. His issue was unrelated to the tweet or his relationship with the team. Third, AB has an incredible drive to win. He just wants to win. That’s all that that is,” Rosenhaus said. “That’s not anything more than him encouraging his coaches and teammates to win. And that’s what his entire focus is on. Any notion, any speculation otherwise, can be put to bed. This is a non-story that has been blown out of proportion. We can end this right here and now.”

Brown was visibly upset with Steelers coaches during Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs, but it sounds like both sides are committed to smoothing things out. Brown is slated to talk with Tomlin on Tuesday and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on Wednesday to clear the air. Then, on Monday, Brown and the Steelers will look to capture their first win of the season against the Buccaneers.

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Steelers HC: Brown Has Not Asked For Trade

Antonio Brown‘s absence from Monday’s practice raised some eyebrows, but the wide receiver is not looking to leave Pittsburgh, according to coach Mike Tomlin. At a Tuesday morning press conference, Tomlin said that Brown has not requested a trade. 

Brown, however, was visibly displeased with Steelers coaches during Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs and he dared the club to trade him on Twitter in an online spat with a former team employee. Although Tomlin says there’s no reason to panic, he did confirm that he will meet with Brown on Tuesday to smooth out any in-house issues.

Brown opened the season by catching nine passes for 93 yards including one tremendous third quarter touchdown against the Browns. This past weekend, he remained productive with nine grabs for 67 yards, but lost his cool in the fourth quarter when talking with offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner and wide receivers coach Darryl Drake. Pittsburgh lost the Week 2 contest against Kansas City, leaving the Steelers winless heading into their Monday night game against the Buccaneers.

We already saw one noteworthy wide receiver change teams this week, but Tomlin asserts that Brown is not looking to join Gordon on the transactions wire.

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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.

Vikings To Waive Daniel Carlson, Sign Dan Bailey

Zane Gonzalez isn’t the only young kicker whose rough Week 2 will cause a relocation. The Vikings are cutting ties with fifth-round rookie Daniel Carlson, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

In Carlson’s place, the Vikings will go with experience by signing Dan Bailey, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Bailey figured to draw interest from multiple teams after kicking issues impacted multiple games on Sunday, and he’ll join up with a Super Bowl contender.

While interest came Bailey’s way, it appears he was willing to wait for the right opportunity. Four teams offered Bailey a contract, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). A dome team coming off an NFC championship cameo piqued his interest.

The second-most accurate kicker in NFL history, Bailey did not make the Cowboys’ active roster. Salary concerns helped lead him out of Dallas. He’ll be in Minneapolis in time for Week 3 and can be expected to provide more consistency than Carlson gave the veteran-laden Vikings roster.

That said, the Vikings are cutting the cord on a young kicker quite early. Minnesota drafted Carlson to lead to a Kai Forbath cut. The Vikings had just re-signed Forbath this offseason but jettisoned him for Carlson this summer. Carlson will be an interesting waiver item for a team keen on seeing if the coveted Auburn prospect can quickly rebound.

Carlson missed three field goals in Minnesota’s 29-29 tie in Green Bay, the last of which coming from just 35 yards out. Two misses occurred in overtime.

The 30-year-old Bailey made the 2015 Pro Bowl and has 27 career 50-plus-yard field goal makes. Missing four games due to injury last season, Bailey made 15 of 20 attempts and 26 of 28 PATs. He’s made 88.2 percent of his career field goal tries (second only to Justin Tucker‘s 90.3 percent) and closed three seasons — 2012, ’13 and ’15 — with a 90 percent-plus conversion rate.

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Carson Wentz To Start In Week 3

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has been medically cleared and will start against the Colts on Sunday, the club announced today.

Wentz is roughly nine months removed from tearing his ACL, so it’s no surprise Philadelphia used a cautious approach with its franchise signal-caller. While he’d been cleared for 11-on-11 drills, Wentz hadn’t been cleared for full contact until today. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has previously indicated Wentz will need a week of full contact practice before he’ll be re-inserted as the club’s starter.

The Eagles had the luxury of deploying Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles during their first two games and managed to post a 1-1 record. Foles wasn’t very effective during Philadelphia’s Week 1 win over the Falcons, as he completed just 56% of his passes for 117 yards and one interceptions. He performed much better against the Buccaneers on Sunday (73% completion rate, 334 yards, one touchdown), but the Eagles still lost 27-21.

Wentz, of course, was playing at an MVP pace before going down last December. In 13 starts, Wentz posted 3,296 passing yards, 33 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions and was named second-team All-Pro despite missing three games. Among the 26 quarterbacks with at least 350 attempts in 2017, Wentz ranked second in ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating, fourth in passer rating, and fourth in adjusted yards per attempt.

Wentz won’t return with his full arsenal at hand, as wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is still recovering from shoulder surgery while Mike Wallace injured his ankle on Sunday. However, Jeffery is expected to practice on a limited basis this week, tweets Josina Anderson of ESPN.com, so he could return to game action in the near future. And Wallace will not be placed on injured reserve after fracturing his fibula, Pederson said today, which means the Eagles may believe he could return later this year.

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Jaguars LT Cam Robinson Has Torn ACL

Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson suffered a torn ACL against the Patriots and will miss the remainder of the season, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Jacksonville is now 2-0 after defeating New England on Sunday, but the club’s path to the postseason will get a bit tougher with Robinson in tow. Given that the Jaguars rely so heavily on their rushing attack, losing any starting offensive lineman for a significant period of time would present a challenge.

With Robinson out, the Jaguars will turn to fifth-year pro Josh Wells to fill in on Blake Bortles‘ blindside. Wells, 27, has appeared in 34 games during his career, including 15 a year ago. He made four starts in 2017, filling in at both tackle spots while playing on roughly 44% of Jacksonville’s offensive snaps.

While Jacksonville could theoretically look to the free agent market for reinforcements, there simply aren’t many high-quality offensive tackles readily available. At present, the list of free agent tackles includes middling-to-poor options such as Will Beatty, Cyrus Kouandjio, Austin Pasztor, Rees Odhiambo, and Don Barclay.

Robinson, 22, was the Jaguars’ second-round pick in 2017, and started 15 games during his rookie campaign. He was part of an offensive line that also included free agent acquisition Andrew Nowell at left guard, plus center Brandon Linder, right guard A.J. Cann, and right tackle Jermey Parnell.

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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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Seahawks LB Mychal Kendricks Suspended, Has Appealed

The NFL has suspended new Seahawks linebacker Mychal Kendricks, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. However, Kendricks has appealed the suspension — the length of which is not yet known — and will therefore be eligible to play until the league makes its ruling. The appeal is expected to be heard within the next 10 days or so.

Kendricks, of course, was suspended for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, as he has pleaded guilty to insider trading and has a sentencing hearing scheduled for January 2019. He is reportedly facing 30 to 37 months in prison.

The Browns signed Kendricks back in June, but Cleveland quickly released him after news of the insider trading charge broke in August. Seattle head coach Pete Carroll, however, said his team did all of the research it could before signing Kendricks, whom Carroll believes is entitled to a second chance.

Carroll said, “We had done a lot of homework on it. [The insider trading] happened four and a half years ago, so it’s a story that’s been worked on for a long time. There’s a lot of good information. We’ve come to learn who he is and what he’s all about and how remorseful he was and how he admitted to his mistake a long time ago.”

As Schefter observes, the NFL — which was considering placing Kendricks on the commissioner’s exempt list before Cleveland released him — will have a tough decision to make. Kendricks made immediate restitution and has no criminal record, so the league must figure out what to do with a player involved in a white-collar crime who has tried to make amends for the situation.

Kendricks will make his Seattle debut tomorrow night against the Bears. He will likely see a lot of playing time, as the Seahawks have already injured linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright.

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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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