Josh Gordon could soon become one of the NFL’s hottest free agent wide receivers.
After a surprising development this week that the New England Patriots would be putting the receiver in injured reserve, a new report says that Gordon is expected to be cleared to play in no more than two weeks — and will be released by the Patriots at that time. As ESPN reported, the team used its minor designation to place Gordon on injured reserve on Wednesday, which allows the team to release Gordon once he is healthy again.
The report noted that Gordon should be healthy enough to play in one or two weeks. If he is released before Tuesday’s trade deadline, Gordon would be subject to waivers and would allow teams to put in a claim for him. If he is released after the deadline, then Gordon would go straight to free agency and could be one of the most in-demand free agents this season.
After years of struggling with off-the-field issues, Gordon has been able to find his footing in New England and has stayed out of trouble after getting a conditional reinstatement from the NFL after a suspension for violating the league’s drug policy.
Josh Gordon has been a key weapon for Tom Brady this season, though his numbers fall under his career averages. Gordon has 20 catches for 287 yards and one touchdown. He has been hampered by a knee injury for the past several weeks, however, but will now get the chance to heal for the next week or two before he returns to play.
There are a number of teams that could be in the running for Gordon, including the divisional rival Buffalo Bills. The Bills have jumped out to a 5-1 start this season thanks largely to one of the league’s best defenses, but the offense has been inconsistent at times behind second-year quarterback Josh Allen.
The Bills were reported to be one of the teams interested in Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green if he were to go onto the trade block, and Gordon could be a target as well if he were to be released after the trade deadline. If his release comes before and Gordon heads to waivers, it may be more difficult for the Bills or any other playoff-contending team to get a chance at him.
The Patriots signaled that Gordon’s spot could be in jeopardy when the team traded for Mohamed Sanu this week.