- Jason Miller/Getty
- The New England Patriots completed a trade for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon on Monday.
- The Patriots sent the Browns a fifth-round pick.
- The Browns announced they’d be cutting the talented, but oft-unavailable Gordon this past weekend.
- Gordon would be a massive upgrade to the Patriots offense if he’s healthy.
The New England Patriots have completed a trade for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, according to reports. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport first reported the two teams were negotiating a trade on Monday.
The Patriots will send the Browns a fifth-round pick for Gordon. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Patriots will get back a late-round pick if Gordon is inactive for 10 or more games.
This past weekend, the Browns announced they would be cutting Gordon, igniting a trade market as other teams made offers to land him before he became a free agent.
Gordon, 27, is an immensely talented receiver who has run into problems off the field. Since racking up 1,600 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns in 2013, Gordon has played just 11 games, mostly because of substance abuse suspensions. He missed the entire 2016 season after violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
This past weekend, the Browns decided to move on after he showed up to the Browns’ training center with a hamstring injury. According to reports, Gordon had hurt his hamstring during a photo shoot at an event unrelated to the team. After supporting Gordon through suspensions and absences, it was apparently the breaking point for the team.
If Gordon is healthy and on the field, he’d be a huge upgrade to the Patriots offense. With Julian Edelman suspended until Week 5 and players like Danny Amendola and Dion Lewis leaving in free agency, the Patriots have had a difficult time finding receivers who can stay on the field. While Tom Brady has continued chugging right along, the lack of explosion from the offense was notable in Week 2, when the Jacksonville Jaguars suffocated the Patriots offense.
It’s a low-risk, high-reward trade for the Patriots. If Gordon can remain on the field and piece together his considerable talents, he could become a dynamic weapon for Tom Brady. If Gordon continues to struggle to get on the field, the Patriots won’t be any worse for having made the deal.
Even with a rocky start to the season, it’s hard not to view the Patriots as the top contender in the AFC. Adding Gordon to the mix may only improve their odds.