The New England Patriots are “getting close on a deal” for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The Browns announced their intention to release Gordon on Saturday, but half a dozen teams reached out with an interest to acquire the receiver via a trade.
The 27-year-old receiver stands at 6’3, 224 pounds with 4.52s speed. He entered the NFL as a second round pick of the 2012 Supplemental Draft by the Browns, collecting 805 yards and 5 touchdowns as a rookie with Brandon Weeden as his quarterback.
Gordon followed that up with an impossibly great sophomore season with 1,646 receiving yards and 9 receiving touchdowns, and an additional 88 rushing yards, in 14 games with Weeden, Jason Campbell, and Brian Hoyer all starting multiple games.
Unfortunately, Gordon has battled addiction his whole life and and he missed those two games with a suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He was suspended for 10 games in 2014 for violating the same policy and didn’t play in 2015 and 2016 because of his addiction.
Gordon returned to the field in week 13 of the 2017 season and gained a great 335 yards in a mere 5 games with Deshone Kizer at quarterback. Over 38 games with the Browns, Gordon has 3,194 yards from scrimmage and 16 touchdowns.
The Patriots have been interested in adding another wide receiver to the roster and were considering the return of Kenny Britt. Gordon has more upside and the Patriots could provide the perfect support system for him to continue on his path.
Gordon has made huge personal strides and I wish him the best. If that best happens to come in a Patriots uniform, well, I won’t complain.
UPDATE: The Patriots will acquire Gordon for a conditional 5th round pick. If Gordon is not active for 10 or more games, then the Browns will send the Patriots a late round pick as compensation, making the trade effectively a “pick swap.”
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
This is a great deal for the Patriots. If Gordon’s healthy and active, then he’s totally worth a fifth round pick. If he’s not, then the Patriots just won’t keep him active and they’ll have traded down from what is likely the end of the fifth round into the top of the seventh round to kick the tires on Gordon.
Update: The Patriots released WR Corey Coleman to make space for Gordon. Swap one former Cleveland Brown for another.