CLEVELAND- Josh Gordon was a source of both joy and frustration for Browns fans since the team drafted him. Gordon was always counted on for consistent receptions and big plays especially with yards after catch (YAC).
The reason why the Browns drafted him in the supplemental draft as opposed to the first round was because off the field concerns. Gordon tested positive for drugs in the NCAA and NFL. Browns fans didn’t see Gordon play many games but that is about to change.
Gordon was reinstated last week by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The Browns and their fan base waited for what seemed like an eternity for his return. Gordon could play the final five games of the regular season which might dramatically increase the Browns’ odds of winning a game.
Will Gordon return to his rookie form? He hasn’t played a game in the last two seasons. The good news is he did more than attend rehabilitation sessions. He worked out intensely and he will bring a David Njoku like physicality to the Browns offense. Gordon could bring a tight end mentality to the receiver position which could spell doom for defenses this year.
The Browns receiving core is in dire need of help. The top two receivers Corey Coleman and Kenny Britt sustain injuries and drop passes. Britt can’t even catch simple receptions. His performance on the Rams was an anomaly. Britt is a one year wonder. Let’s see if he can post 1,000 receiving yards next season as a Browns receiver. Call it tough criticism and an open challenge to Britt. He needs to be the prolific receiver the Browns envisioned when the team signed him to a four year, $32 million deal in the offseason. If the Browns keep him, he has three years left to prove the doubters wrong.
The Joe Thomas injury makes things worse. DeShone Kizer has to deal with ironing out the rookie kinks with less pass protection. This will make things difficult for these receivers in all fairness.
Trading Josh Gordon
Are the Browns better off trading Gordon? If he posts stats like 40 receptions for 435 yards and 4 touchdowns in just five games, he could have insanely high market value. The Browns could put Josh Gordon out on the trade block for a king’s ransom. This would open tough negotiations such as talking to the Raiders about Amari Cooper and the Giants regarding Odell Beckham. Neither trade will likely happen. This is a purely speculative look at what the Browns could attempt this off-season.
The Browns front office needs a win too. The ideal scenario is to keep Gordon. The front office should let the fans revere Gordon as a franchise hero. Some fans may view that as wishful thinking because of the potential high risk that Gordon will return to his old ways or under perform on the field. This risk may yield high rewards for the team.