Posted on August 24, 2016, by Travis Pulver
Josh Gordon has not played since December of the 2014 season and didn’t play much that year due to suspensions. He has yet to play in a game since he was allowed to return to practice and will not play in a regular-season game until Week Five of the season.
All he has done is practice, and he hasn’t even done a lot of that thanks to an injury. But for some odd reason there appear to be a number of teams that have expressed an interest in acquiring the troubled but talented wide receiver.
He may not have what it takes anymore. He may blow a knee out as he runs out of the tunnel for his first game. He may be so nervous the night before his first game that he takes a few hits off a bong. With his history, the league ends up giving him a drug test after the game—and then he’s done. As many times as he’s suposedly learned his lesson and turned over a new leaf, he could easily fall back into old habits. But he could also be one of the most exciting wide receivers in football.
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Knowing the possibilities, teams are still inquiring about his availability. It just goes to show how much teams value winning.
However, as any team that actually made an offer has probably discovered—there is no way the Cleveland Browns are going to trade him.
His talent is going to make him a popular topic of conversation. Teams will always be interested in a player they feel can help them win. So far—the word on Gordon has been all good. The only people to see him in action have been folks in attendance at practice since he has yet to play in a game, but people talk. When the talk about how good he looks in practice reminds them of how great he looked in 2013 (when he led the NFL in receiving yards with 1646).
Assuming he can be that guy once again, it is not hard to understand why there has been so much interest in him. The “old Gordon” is capable of making a dramatic impact on the playoff hopes for the right team. With players like that hard to come by, it could be worth taking a chance on him—for the right price.
Therein lies the reason why the Browns will never trade him—the price.
Cleveland will value him according to his talent and the potential impact they know he can have. Other teams will do the same, but they will temper that value with the lingering danger of a career ending suspension should he test positive again.
So from a talent standpoint, the Browns would probably demand at least a second round pick. Factor in the risk, and it would not be shocking if the best they could get would be a fifth round pick—and a conditional one at that.
According to media reports, the Browns have no interest in trading him, and he has no interest in being traded. Perhaps, after all this time, and all the drama, the Browns want to see if it was all worth it. On Gordon’s end, he has had an organization back him and support him when most would have let him go a long time ago. It sounds like he wants to pay them back:
“Cleveland is my team. That’s where I want to be,” Gordon told ESPN.com.
Will he pay them back with a strong season? Will they keep him or will they trade him away? Will he succumb to temptation and fall back into old habits?
Only time will tell.