Amid a report of multiple teams making trade offers for Brown receiver Josh Gordon (which frankly feels like something that was leaked by the Browns in order to drive up interest and/or price), a league source with knowledge of the dynamics of any deal tells PFT that a trade is “possible” but not “probable.”
Perhaps the better term would be “complicated.” Apart from Gordon’s actual or perceived football skills, he was suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season, along with a two-game fine. As we understand it, the two-and-two punishment resulted from negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA. While Gordon has said he realizes he’s on his “last chance opportunity,” it’s not known with certainty whether his next violation of the substance-abuse policy would trigger banishment with the ability to apply for reinstatement after one year.
Anyone interested in trading for Gordon would be entitled to get to the truth, which very well could be that Gordon has landed in Stage Three of the substance-abuse program, exposing him to up to 10 random tests per month. If he’s in Stage Three, any violation — from a positive test, failure to show up on time, or diluted sample — will get him suspended for at least a full year.
The risk of a one-year suspension makes it much harder to value Gordon, but it also should increase the Browns’ willingness to move him. Team CEO Joe Banner has said that the team has “no intention” of making any further trades and that the Browns aren’t shopping Gordon. Those answers give him the ability to listen to offers and, possibly, to accept the best one.
The best approach, as explained during Tuesday’s PFT Live and Tuesday night’s edition of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, could be to offer a package that will change if Gordon gets suspended at any point before the draft next May.
Either way, we’ll know in six days whether the risk of another Gordon suspension will be carried by the Browns, or by someone else.