The Cleveland Browns have said they are not looking to trade Josh Gordon, and Gordon has said he doesn’t want to be traded. It doesn’t look like that’s going to be a problem, given what the Browns would reportedly want in return.
According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Media, who cited sources with knowledge of the situation (other general managers?), the Browns are seeking “a second-round pick and then some,” in any trade for the talented receiver with the checkered history.
So given that, it’s safe to say that Gordon isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Browns president Sashi Brown, in fact, said as much on Thursday.
“Listening to trade offers is probably a mischaracterization,” he said. “We’ve said all we needed to say about it. We’re not looking to trade Josh.”
There is no denying the talent of Gordon, who was named first-team All-Pro in 2013 when he led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards on only 87 catches. But Gordon’s struggles staying out of trouble and staying on the field have been well-documented.
The 6-4, 220-pounder has not played a game since December of 2014 as he was hit with a year-long suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. In fact, his suspension was extended into the 2016 season and he will not even be eligible to play until Week 5 against the New England Patriots.
Nobody is going to be willing to give up a second-rounder for Gordon until he can prove not only that he is still dedicated to playing football and staying on the field, but also that his long layoff has not affected his skills.
In fact, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report said that two general managers told him they had “at best, mild interest” in Gordon. The most they would be willing to risk in a trade for Gordon, at this point, would be a conditional sixth- or seventh-round pick. That’s a big gap and one that is unlikely to narrow in the near future.
This could all change if Gordon hits the ground running in Week 5 and begins to light up the league. Maybe he will even show some early signs of promise on Friday night when he makes his 2016 preseason debut against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That will be the first time anyone has had much of a look at him since his suspension.
But until he gives everyone an idea of where he is at, Gordon isn’t going anywhere. And frankly this makes perfect sense. Why would the Browns sell low on Gordon, knowing what he is capable of doing for them? And why would anyone else take a chance on him until they can get an idea of where he is at physically, not to mention whether or not he can stay on the field?
We talked about potential trade partners for Gordon here, and it was a fun exercise. But that’s all it was, and as fun as it was, it simply doesn’t make any sense for Gordon to be anywhere other than Cleveland.
At least for now.