The Josh Gordon trade rumors are heating up with reports that a number of NFL teams have reached out to the Cleveland Browns about the talented but troubled wide receiver. Unfortunately, some people are taking this as a sign that Gordon may not be on the straight and narrow path yet.
Gordon was just reinstated after serving an NFL drug suspension that lasted more than a year, but he doesn’t appear to have lost a step during his time away from the field. Reports from the Browns training camp this week indicate that Gordon looks just as good as ever, and he is dominating cornerbacks in training camp and forming a dangerous tandem with converted wide receiver Terrelle Pryor.
The Browns see the pair as an important part of their offense this year along with new acquisition, Robert Griffin III.
“Those dudes man, it’s kind of crazy because I was in college when Josh first got into the league, so to see a guy like that dominate and he’s been back for the past couple of days and he’s been dominant,” cornerback Jamar Taylor told Cleveland.com.
This has made the trade rumors surrounding Josh Gordon that much more puzzling. The team issued an official comment to ESPN that they are not looking to trade Gordon, but at the same time, there appears to be sentiment around the league that he could be available.
It’s not clear how much truth there is to those reports, however. ESPN writer Tony Grossi, who covers the Browns, speculated that the Josh Gordon trade rumors could actually be emanating from within the Browns camp, and it could actually be a sign that he’s headed for trouble again.
“There is a cynical point of view out there that the Browns floated the story of interest in Gordon to promote more activity. That they are looking to cut their losses and get something for him before he self-destructs again.”
“The only reason for the Browns to even consider trading Gordon is if they fear he won’t stay clean and abide by his recovery program. Only they would know this.”
“One more violation of the NFL drug program and Gordon returns to the career purgatory of indefinite suspension. After four mulligans already, it most likely would spell the end for him.”
If that rumor of more drug trouble is true, it’s unlikely that Gordon would be traded at all, Grossi noted. Any NFL team would do their due diligence before parting with a high draft pick for a player who could be close to falling off the wagon again, he wrote.
Did the Browns plant the Josh Gordon trade story to drum up interest? https://t.co/oRZzOd6nqp
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 24, 2016
The rumors would also seem to contradict reports that Gordon “has been totally engaged in the team and is man changed by the grim reality that his career could be over at the age of 25 with one more failed drug test,” Grossi added.
And while the Cleveland Browns management is denying the trade rumors surrounding Josh Gordon, the wide receiver is also trying to throw cold water on the reports.
“I haven’t heard too much about it,” Gordon told Cleveland.com. “Cleveland is my team. That’s where I want to be, everything like that. That’s not even in the ballpark for me. I’m not sure how that works.”
Should the Jets Have Interest in Josh Gordon, Karlos Williams, or Devin Hester? https://t.co/JXcJaFoa78
— Gang Green Nation (@GangGreenNation) August 24, 2016
But if the Josh Gordon trade rumors were to somehow pan out, as things sometimes do in the NFL even against all evidence otherwise, there would be a number of teams with a high level of interest. Gordon is a surefire No. 1 receiver and likely would come at a great discount related to his value due to his history of trouble. That could be a great fit for a team like the New England Patriots, who could use another weapon as they look to defend their AFC East title without Tom Brady for the first quarter of the season.
[Photo by Bob Leverone/AP Images]