Trade rumors continue to swirl around Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, two clubs “have standing offers of a high pick and a player” for Gordon, the second-year receiver from Baylor. The Browns, however, are “balking,” Schefter reported Monday night.
There’s a lot to like about Gordon. He’s shown considerable potential in his first two NFL seasons, gaining 16.3 yards per catch. He’s only 22 years old. Also, interested teams surely have to like that he’s signed through 2015 at affordable rates ($825,604 in 2014, $1,068,406 in 2015, per Rotoworld.com figures).
However, Gordon served a two-game suspension for a violation of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, and any other missteps could lead to a one-year suspension.
Nevertheless, Gordon is an intriguing talent, a player who help quite a few teams, and his contract makes him easily movable if the Browns are so inclined. (Of course, in theory, this also drives up the cost for Gordon.)
After considering every team’s wide receiver situation, contending status and organizational philosophy, we narrowed the list of possible Gordon landing spots to 13 clubs. Here’s our list, ranked in order from the best fit on down:
1. Colts. G.M. Ryan Grigson traded a 2013 second-round pick for cornerback Vontae Davis and a 2014 first-rounder for running back Trent Richardson, so the high price of acquiring young talent doesn’t scare him or owner Jim Irsay. Also, Grigson and Browns CEO Joe Banner struck the Richardson deal. Finally, the Colts are down a key receiver with Reggie Wayne out for the season with an ACL tear.
2. 49ers. They have an extra pick in the second and third rounds in 2014, and there is a need at wide receiver.
3. Patriots. Gordon would add some field-stretching ability to their offense, and they have been willing to make a big deal over the years. That said, thus far, they have leaned on the receivers they have drafted and developed.
4. Lions. Could you imagine Gordon opposite of Calvin Johnson?
5. Panthers. After a 1-3 start, the Panthers have won two straight. On their best, they look like a playoff contender. Gordon would give them a little more playmaking punch.
6. Redskins. Washington could use another receiving threat, and Gordon was a collegiate teammate of Robert Griffin III.
7. Jets. They are slightly similar to the Panthers; another piece on offense would help, and who’s to say they can’t contend for a playoff spot?
8. Eagles. Gordon would add even more speed to a talented offense.
9. Chargers. The Chargers could use a deep threat.
10. Seahawks. Now we’re getting into real long shot territory. That said, the Seahawks are willing to make a big splash.
11. Chiefs. At 7-0, they probably wouldn’t be inclined to change much.
12. Falcons. Getting Roddy White healthy might be their big move.
13. Packers. They could use a wide receiver, but trades aren’t their thing. They prefer to develop their own talent. With Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, they have that luxury.