Josh Gordon

USA Today

Josh Gordon Is A Patriot

The least surprising move ever.

September 18, 2018 - 10:16 am
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Corey Dillon and Randy Moss. Get ready to hear a lot about them today. You won’t be able to hear one Josh Gordon is a Patriot story without hearing about either or both of them.

So let’s start there. Josh Gordon is a New England Patriot today. And if you’re surprised, you shouldn’t be. Not because the rumors started coming out yesterday afternoon, but because this is how it was always going to happen. The Patriots were going to get him, they were going to take a chance on him. This is what they do. And they got him for a fifth-round pick. Not bad. And even better, they get a seventh round pick back from the Browns if Gordon isn’t active for ten games. A completely no-risk move.

And the least surprising surprise move ever. From the moment the Browns made it clear they were moving on from Josh Gordon, the most predictable outcome was Gordon in Pats gear. Especially when you look at New England’s past and their game on Sunday.  Jacksonville just sat on the Patriots wideouts. That offense could not move the ball because they can barely move on the field. 

This isn’t a luxury move for the Patriots. This isn’t the rich getting richer. This isn’t the Golden State Warriors adding DeMarcus Cousins. The Patriots are adding Josh Gordon because they need him. They’ve mismanaged their roster. And the fact that they are jumping on someone who the Browns, the Cleveland Browns, are giving up on tells you something. 

New England needs this to work, not because they gave up a lot. They barely gave up anything to get him. They need it to work because they need their offense to work. 

They never replaced Brandin Cooks and Deon Lewis. They don’t have speed. They are slow as hell. And they can’t take the top off a defense. 

Josh Gordon can do all those things. So it’s a stone cold lock, right? Get him to New England, put him with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, and he’ll be back on track for that yellow blazer, right?

And that brings us back to Corey Dillon and Randy Moss, the two names that you hear every time the Patriots make a move like this. And we really have to stop with that.

First off, Corey Dillon joined the Patriots in 2004. Josh Gordon was 13 then. A lot has changed in the league, in the world, and with the Patriots since 2004.

And Randy Moss? RANDY GENE MOSS? I know the temptation is to bring him up when you talk about Josh Gordon, because they both have incredible talent and they came on a bargain because their previous team had given up on them.

They also both have two hands and two feet, but that may be all they have in common at this point. Randy Moss may very well have been the greatest receiver in the nearly 100 years of the NFL. Josh Gordon was the best receiver in the league for one year. And since then, he’s been in and out. Randy Moss had 10 1,000 yard seasons. Josh Gordon has one. In 2013 and has not had 1,000 combined yards since then.

Josh Gordon is not Randy Moss. Randy Moss is a Hall of Famer. Randy Moss may have had issues in his previous stops, but they weren’t the issues that Gordon had and has. 

Moss is not the guy you should be comparing Gordon to. But if you need a few names I’ve got em for you. How about Chad Ochocinco, Kenny Britt, and Michael Floyd? These are all receivers who were brought in when other teams didn’t want them and it really didn’t work out for any of them. Phillip Dorsett, even Corey Coleman who was released yesterday, the list goes on. 

Yes, the Patriots with Brady and Moss were totally unfair. And the Patriots with Brady and Gordon could maybe get to that point as well. Josh Gordon could make Gronk’s life so much easier and Brady’s career even longer. If he sticks. But that’s still a big IF.  Because availability is your best ability and Gordon simply has not been available.

Gordon probably won’t be an issue in the Patriots locker room, but the question is: will he be in the Patriots locker room? Because he wasn’t in the Browns locker room very often. Don’t think for a second that being around Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will automatically erase the challenges that he’s faced off the field.

Belichick has taken chances on guys in the past, but in case you haven’t heard, accountability is kind of a big deal for him. And it’s kind of a big challenge for Gordon. Part of the “do your job” philosophy is that you’re there to do your job. And Gordon hasn’t been for long, long stretches. 

Is it a deal worth making? Definitely. Almost no risk, and a potentially high reward. Could this result in Tom Brady holding another Lombardi at the end of the season? Sure. And it could also result in Josh Gordon being unemployed at the end of the season. I’m pulling for Gordon, and I want to believe in the guy and his comeback; but it’s a lot harder to do given that Cleveland, of all teams, just broke him off.