The Cleveland Browns have officially parted ways with wide receiver Josh Gordon. Yesterday afternoon the Browns announced their plans to release the former Pro Bowl receiver but they ultimately ended up trading him to the New England Patriots instead. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, at least eight to ten teams had reached out to the Browns about a potential deal. Now Tom Brady has a legit number one receiver again.
Poor play at wide receiver was a problem the Patriots likely saw coming from a mile away. After trading away Brandin Cooks and losing Danny Amendola in free agency, the team has played a game of musical chairs at the position.
The 27-year old was reinstated last year after missing the 2015 and 2016 seasons because of suspensions related to violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. In a statement released prior to training camp, Gordon revealed he was “doing great” both physically and mentally, and “excited to start the season.”
In five games last season with the Browns, Gordon recorded 18 receptions for 335 yards and a touchdown. He had a 17-yard touchdown catch against the Pittsburgh Steelers in their Week 1 tie, but an injured hamstring kept him out of action in Week 2 as the Browns suffered a 21-18 loss in New Orleans.
In Gordon, the Patriots get the kind of deep-threat receiver that has helped Brady play at his best. The peak of Brady’s Hall of Fame career came in 2007 when he threw 50 touchdowns — 23 of which were caught by Randy Moss, maybe the best ever at tracking deep balls.
Does Brady, at age 41, still have what it takes to take advantage of a player who can take the top off the defense? We’ll just have to see.