Josh Gordon has a new home.
The Cleveland Browns announced Monday they traded wide receiver Josh Gordon to the New England Patriots. In exchange for Gordon, the team received a conditional 2019 fifth-round draft pick, a source informed of the deal told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
Gordon could play immediately since he had an MRI on his injured hamstring, and it was deemed to be fine. Owners should keep him on the bench for now as this is obviously an upgrade for the mercurial receiver, at least from a quarterback/offense standpoint. It's going to take some time for him to learn the offense, get up to speed and gain Tom Brady's trust, so this will require some patience. Gordon's arrival is a small but not insignificant downgrade for Chris Hogan, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski, though he won't have a negative fantasy impact on these players until he's in the lineup and absorbing targets. Remember, there's a decent chance that he doesn't have any fantasy impact at all. This is Josh Gordon we're talking about, he has played in 11 of a possible 66 games over the last four-plus seasons. It's also going to be difficult to garner enough volume to post big numbers with Edelman, Hogan, Gronkowski and James White all in established roles in the offense.
Rapoport added the trade compensation should be legit and speculation is at least a middle round draft pick. Reports say 8-10 teams have shown interest. Other reports say this has nothing to do with substance abuse, but instead with Gordon injuring his hamstring at a promotional event as well as showing up late for treatment to the team facility.
Adam Schefter first reported Saturday the Browns would cut WR Josh Gordon on Monday. Later, he reported, "multiple league sources believe the Browns will trade WR Josh Gordon before they release him by the Monday date they announced they would let him go."
Browns GM John Dorsey: “For the past six years, the Browns have fully supported and invested in Josh, both personally and professionally and wanted the best for him, but unfortunately we’ve reached a point where we feel it’s best to part ways and move forward. We wish Josh well.”
Gordon is a vested vet and is not subject to waivers. So if he is cut, he is a free agent and can sign where he wants, for what he wants.
This is a stunner, as it was just announced Saturday that Gordon would miss Sunday's game in New Orleans with a hamstring injury. Clearly, there is more to this story that has not yet been reported. Gordon made a return to the NFL last year after missing the better part of three seasons, due to violations of the league's substance abuse policy. Schefter reports Josh Gordon hurt his hamstring at a promotional shoot, not at practice. So it doesn't appear to be another pending year-long suspension issue. Fantasy owners should be patient before releasing Gordon just yet.
Jarvis Landry and David Njoku figure to see a bump, while Rashard Higgins and Antonio Callaway will vie for leftovers. Duke Johnson may see more snaps as a receiver. There should be plenty of negative game script for the Browns in this game, as they are a heavy underdog against the Saints on the road.
There was a bit of controversy last week as HC Hue Jackson said Gordon wouldn't start vs. the Steelers. But, Gordon happened to come on to the field first with the particular package OC Todd Haley began the game with. Gordon then came off the field for the remainder of the drive before playing on 77 percent of the snaps and 69 plays in Week 1.
"The game's overwith now, so to talk about it, what's it going to do?' Nothing,'' he said Monday in his press conference. "So I've dealt with it. We've worked through it. It's done with. We move on.''
Gordon disappeared from the lineup for the rest of that series and the next, almost as if Jackson had ordered him back to the bench for awhile.
Jackson had adamantly stated several times over the past two weeks that Gordon wouldn't start because he hadn't been here and other receivers deserved the nod. After the game Jackson revealed that he wasn't aware Gordon would start until he trotted out for the first play in a jumbo formation -- Gordon wide left and three tight ends stacked on the right. He's given Haley full control over the offense, both personnel deployment and playcalling.
Friday, September 7, 2018, 6:33pm
Browns WR Josh Gordon (hamstring) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week. Gordon was removed from the injury report, so he’ll be fine to face the Steelers. He will reportedly not start and will be on a snap count, per head coach Hue Jackson. He has missed much of camp, so one wonders if he and QB Tyrod Taylor are on the same page.
Thursday, September 6, 2018, 6:17pm
Browns WR Josh Gordon (hamstring) took limited practice reps again Thursday. Gordon should be able to face the Steelers, though he’s already been told that he won’t start. He has missed much of camp, so one wonders if he and QB Tyrod Taylor are on the same page.
Wednesday, September 5, 2018, 6:03pm
Browns WR Josh Gordon (hamstring) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Gordon should be able to face the Steelers, though he’s already been told that he won’t start. He has missed much of camp, so one wonders if he and QB Tyrod Taylor are on the same page.
The Browns said for a while now Gordon wasn't going to start Week 1, but is expected to play. He could be on a pitch count but should probably be on the field for red zone opportunities. At least for Week 1, Gordon comes with some risks. Reports say Callaway will start opposite Landry.
Gordon may be on some kind of pitch count to start the season, at least for Week 1. Owners will have a better idea of where to play Gordon in lineups once our Week 1 rankings are released. For now, it looks like Gordon will have some limits for the first game.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was activated from the non-football injury list and cleared to participate in practice on Saturday, but a minor hamstring injury will limit what he can do as he tries to get ready for the season-opener.
Gordon, who missed training camp while away from the team addressing his health at a University of Florida treatment facility, suffered the injury two days before, according to head coach Hue Jackson. Jackson added that he has “no doubt” Gordon will be ready for the Week 1 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and didn’t rule the receiver out for this week’s final preseason game, the story went on to say.
"No, Josh is not playing this Thursday night. No,'' Jackson said. "That's for sure."
Gordon returned from his treatment program at the University of Florida, but hasn't yet been cleared to practice. His return to the field will be a collaborative decision on the part of his medical team, the NFL, the Browns and Gordon. He's currently on the active/non-football injury list, which permits him to attend meetings and conditioning sessions, but not practice.
"There's a chance,'' coach Hue Jackson said on a conference call Saturday. "Obviously, we're just going to take it one step at a time. His focus is going to be on meetings and conditioning, and then we'll just kind of go from there. Hopefully, we can get him up and running by the first game."
The story said Gordon returned to the Browns on Saturday from a treatment program at the University of Florida. He was subsequently placed on the active/non-football injury list. It means he can start practicing as soon as his medical team gives him the green light. In the meantime, he can attend meetings and conditioning sessions. The story went on to say an NFL spokesman said there is no timetable for the next steps.
Josh Gordon issued a statement on Twitter, saying in part:
"As I humbly return to being a member of this team with an opportunity to get back to playing this game I love, I realize in order for me to reach my full potential my primary focus must remain on my sobriety and mental well-being. Let's get to work!"
UPDATE via Tom Pelissero: "Since #Brown WR Josh Gordon is still in jointly negotiated substance abuse program, he’s subject to certain conditions. Per @NFLprguy: “This part of the process. Can attend meetings, do conditioning. Can go to practice but not participate. No timetable on next step.”
Josh Gordon has faced a long road to get back. He played five games last season but then was not present to this point for the start of Browns camp and the preseason. In his return last season after about three years away from the NFL, Gordon played the final five weeks of the regular season. He averaged 11.5 PPR points per game, WR26 over that span (Week 13-17) on a per game basis. Jarvis Landry will eat into his target share undoubtedly, and Gordon's ADP remains in the fourth-to-fifth-round range. You're paying for closer to his ceiling at that price with a low floor.
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