Handicapping the Josh Gordon Derby


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.

66 responses to “Handicapping the Josh Gordon Derby

  1. I wouldn’t trade a great receiver like Josh Gordon, he has gotten better and better over time. It’s hard to find a good consistent #1 receiver, he has the talent to be a star.

  2. 6,10-13 all wouldnt happen imo.
    Colts or pats are plausible. Waynes at the twilight of his career
    Or, you know, detroit wouldn’t mind sending Mikel and a pick for gordon 😉

  3. I’d think the Eagles would be higher – DeSean Jackson is due $12mil in 2014, Jeremy Maclin is an unrestricted free agent coming off a knee injury, and the rest of the Eagles wideouts are some of the worst in the league.

  4. Maybe for a second and a good corner to put opposite Joe Hadden, but depends on wether or not you believe there is a franchise QB in the drat, because he will be able to make average receivers looks good and the defense would be very good.
    But I dunno Gordon is prettttty good.

  5. I bet the Niners are one of the “standing offer” teams – The extra second round Alex Smith pick from KC and disgruntled LaMichael James.

  6. So what you’re saying is he is going to either SF or Indy, but a lot of other teams would like him?

  7. The Falcons should be higher up that list.

    You know with Tony G. coming back for his last year, they would go big for Gordon.

    SF is the likely destination should he be moved. That would be rather awesome if the player they offered up turned out to be Colt McCoy (yes… that is the backup for Kaep).

  8. Niners are fools if they let this guy get away. Don’t act like Manningham or Crabtree are going to be difference makers this season. Gordon would be a perfect fit for you and give you leverage on Crabs next contract. Just do it frisco

  9. The only way I move Gordon is for at least two high picks (one being a first) or a high pick and an offensive lineman that can start. It doesn’t make sense to get any less for him. He’s shown that he can play in the league and his current QB sucks. Why trade him for less when they would have to turn around and have to replace him probably through the draft?

    I know they wouldn’t be likely to get what I would ask for, but I’m content with keeping Gordon.

  10. Even with the baggage the Browns would be stupid to get rid of him. The Richardson trade was clearly a great move in hindsight but I think this one wouldn’t be nearly as positive unless he is suspended for a long amount of time.

  11. I wouldn’t rule out the Saints. We could use a threat like Gordon in our receiving corps. Colston is good, but he lacks the speed needed to be elite. Gordon would fit nicely with the Saints.

  12. If the browns trade him for a 2nd, what are they hoping to get out of their 2nd round pick next year? He’s the same age as most rookies and looks to have pro bowl potential.

  13. Its still only Josh Gordon. Shouldn’t trade that much for a player who would be complementary on any other team.

    Speaking of trades, the Vikings should be realizing that they are more than 5 years away from contention with an old defense and a offense full of camp bodies. They should move AP for a King’s ransom of draft picks and dive headfirst into a proper rebuilding mode. If Josh Gordon can ellicit high picks and a player, imagine what AP would command.

  14. As a Browns fan I hate this because he is our ONLY offensive weapon at receiver (Cameron is a TE). We’ve got nothing else. He is our best receiver since maybe Webster Slaughter (yes, I remember but Braylon was average at best). That said, I wouldn’t give him up for anything less than a #1 and a #4. It’s a seller’s market. I added the extra draft pick because as a team that is competing for the playoffs the pick is going to be in the mid-20’s at best and #31 or #32 at worst, which is darn near 2nd round.

    Considering his low contract I’d likely say a #1 & a #3, which leaves the Colts out since we already have their goods. If the Colts gave up a #1 for Richardson, who is a bum, we should get more than that for aWR who has actually showed that he can play in the league. He runs pretty routes and all he needs is a QB worth a darn, which Weeden is not. I’d hate to see him go, but since the fleecing is on I want lamb chops and a wool coat for winter. I wouldn’t be mad at a #1 and #3, possibly more.

  15. Why would “The Mistake By The Lake” ever, ever, ever consider trading away a talented receiver such as Gordon? Guess that’s what fuels the oxidation!

  16. Draft picks are disappearing fast from the Colts, don’t know if they can get in that fray.

  17. Make it happen Baalke! LaMichael James and a 3rd rounder. It could give Norv Turner a new Sproles type of back. Gordon on the 49ers with Boldin, Davis and whatever they can squeeze out of Crabtree and Manningham should be enough firepower to score with anybody.

  18. 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.

    No point in having a “field stretching” WR with Brady anymore. . . His deep accuracy is long gone.

  19. There’s another reason why a trade for Gordon makes sense for Philly. It eliminates a tough decision regarding their free agent-to-be wideout. Maclin has ultimately underachieved in his career so far, but many expected big things from him in Chip’s offense. The Eagles could use a wideout opposite Desean. By trading for Gordon, they don’t have to sit down and work out a contract extension for a receiver that may never be the same again.

  20. Could prob add the Ravens, they only have one active player who can catch, and haven’t been afraid to make some moves lately. As long as Cleveland is willing to deal within the division

  21. Only 2? That’s surprising if true, the kid may seem like off-field trouble but there’s no denying his talents. Plenty of teams could benefit from his speed and separation skills.

  22. The eagles make a lot of sense. Too much sense for it to happen. Banner has obvious ties to Philly, it gets Gordon out of the AFC so the Browns don’t get embarrassed by him once or twice most years and after losing Jeremy Maclin to a torn ACL they don’t have a true #1 WR threat. The lack of another receiving option has bogged down the offense more than the QB changes. Getting a confirmed top tier NFL talent is well worth a draft pick for a player who might not even make the roster. With the off-field problems to consider, the price should be right too. Of course Joey Nickels will still ask for too much.

  23. Last week…. Josh Gordon had the 9th most dropped passes in the NFL.

    When they update the stats (today)…. Josh Gordon should be near the top spot (easily TOP FIVE).

    Braylon Edwards is Josh Gordon’s role model.

  24. U can’t trust him stay away. No way he goes thru an off season without smoking a blunt or 2. The browns could steal another draft pick for him.

  25. The Eagles need somebody like this to go opposite of DeSean Jackson because Cooper and Avant are no good and can’t get open with press coverage.

  26. “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?”

    I thought they were supposed to be the worst team in the league this year? 🙂

  27. 1. I don’t see it. What else do the Colts really have left for high draft picks? I think they’d opt to save the rest to continue to upgrade their lines next year.

    2. Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree are due to return within the next 6 weeks knock on wood. That’d call off the dogs on a trade.

    3. Pats are pretty stingy with their picks and as you pointed out, they develop their home-grown talent for better or worse.

    4. Now the Lions are the most interesting team you’ve mentioned. Burleson won’t be back for a while. Ryan Broyles isn’t cutting it at slot and the #2 WR revolving door isn’t working and the TEs are nothing to write home about. I could see the front office tiring of that unless they make Joique Bell or Reggie Bush a quasi-WR and stick the other one in the backfield at the same time.

    5. Panthers seem obsessed with making Brandon LeFell their #2 WR permanently simply because he’s the Hines Ward of their running game who now and then breaks out into a pass catcher oddly enough.

    6. Jordan Reed is developing into a mini Jimmy Graham for the Washington team to pair with Pierre Garcon. A young imitation of Brees-Graham-Colston? Perhaps, and this is likely enough for Shanahan.

    7. John Idzik comes from the Seahawks front office, so I don’t see him giving up any Jets draft picks. It’s more than likely he’d punt the season away giving up Santonio Holmes if he possibly could. The Jets need a lot more talent in their OL and WR corps. Idzik won’t get to do that if he gives up a high pick for a player who could be suspended at any time, thus effectively scuttling their 2014 draft class.

    8. I think Chip Kelly is going to recognize that this is a lost season for the Eagles and would rather collect draft picks to remold the putrid defense. Very unlikely a trade happens there.

    9. Tom Telesco is a very young GM, 40/41 years old and believes in supplanting his team with free agents. This makes the Chargers a viable and strong dark horse. It depends on whether he believes his defense is playoff caliber (they are not.)

    10. Seattle Seahawks already made a splash. His name is Percy Harvin and he is returning to the team this week. I also have a feeling they want to see how this helps Golden Tate’s development as a receiver.

    11. I like the mention of KC, knowing that Andy Reid likes to shake things up now and then. However, the Chiefs are currently undefeated and they already greatly under-utilize a player they pay top 5 WR money. Why add another good WR they will ignore while they have Alex Smith under center?

    12. I agree that the Falcons will consider Roddy White’s return as their “big move”. They’re waiting for Steven Jackson to return soon as well. Low chance of a trade here.

    13. The Packers are stacked at WR. They empty out the spent shells and re-load from their depth. They’re also good at getting the most out of the receiving talent they have, too. Even with the injuries on offense, they’re still in better shape than 3/4ths of the league.


    You never mentioned the Baltimore Ravens. I think Ozzie Newsome would do his homework and check out getting Torrey Smith a nice running mate. They’ve already made two trades involving OTs. Why not a WR? I’m sure they don’t consider themselves out of a playoff race, especially since the defense is pretty decent and there haven’t been any crippling injuries.

    I also wouldn’t count out Jeff Ireland down there in Miami. He may have spent a lot of money but he’s shown he is in it to save his job and Josh Gordon could help save the Dolphins before the season sinks. .500 is still not an awful place to be in the AFC East where there aren’t any given division winners.

    So in closing, my top odds would be the Ravens, Lions, Dolphins and Chargers.

  28. Josh is an extremely talented young man I’d like to see in a Browns uniform for many years. However, given his history, he won’t be playing football next season. The off-season will be too much for him to handle.
    I think they have to trade him now while he has substantial value to a team headed for a playoff run.

  29. He’s affordable, he’s young, and he’s locked up for two more years. He’s also the Browns best player. I don’t understand why they would want to trade him. Unless the Patriots were willing to part with their backup QB, who Lombardi has a man crush on, but even then, I just don’t see it. The team needs to keep and build around the few talented pieces they have.

  30. My guess is it’s going to take a #1 pick, not a two. Also, @megatronn81 – because the lions have really shied away from players with off the field issues. Hilarious. And you can all forget about the Colts. They just got burned by the Browns for a first rounder, and don’t have a high enough pick remaining to get it done.

  31. Whichever team has a back up QB that knows how to throw a football overhand…

  32. Just because Josh Gordon is Cleveland’s best receiver doesn’t mean that he is a dependable #1 NFL wide receiver.


  33. FortyWHiners will try to sign him.
    Wont matter anyway, they can’t keep up with Seattle.

    Seattle – Kansas City Super Bowl

  34. Has anyone else heard the rumor about a trade with Dallas? I read that we would get Miles Austin and a high pick for Gordon . Now I don’t want them to trade josh at all. But if they were going too regardless I would def. Like a descent WR like Austin thrown in to the deal. I know that Miles hasn’t been great as of late but the talent is there , I think he just needs a change of scenery.

  35. We are not going to trade our #1 WR to the Raven ,Bengals or Steelers. Someone mentions one of the teams in our divsion every time trade rumors come up. Its ridiculous to even mention it so quit wasting time and energy thinking about impossible crap.

  36. Lions won’t want him, they’re trying their best to keep themselves out of the headlines for the kind of trouble Gordon gets into.

    I can see him going to the Pats. They have the “just win baby – and do anything Belichick says!” philosophy. They don’t mind players running afoul of the law. Pats are like the old Raiders.

  37. Everyone forgets he’s only ONE FAILED TEST away from a YEAR LONG SUSPENSION. As a Browns fan, that scares me. I don’t think most you know this dudes college history. He’s already been popped for codeine as a pro too. If Banner can get a 2nd and a player, do it to it. CLE prob has the most cap room in the NFL, no need holding on to it.

  38. I notice a lot of the above posts suggest trading him for a #2 pick. Why would we trade a very talented receiver that we took in the second round (supplemental draft) for a second round pick? I realize some of you are adding another player to the trade but still, no players mentioned looked like a good deal for the Browns.

    I could see the Pats as the prime interest, for both parties. It would be Gordon for Mallet and some picks. Our GM is smitten for that guy.

  39. digitaldonnie says:
    Oct 22, 2013 7:51 AM

    Possibly the Pats? A 1st rounder and Ryan Mallett??? oh my

    I think Lombardi would LOVE to have Mallett. I’d puke if it weren’t for the first rounder, which would never happen . . .

  40. Seattle may want to make a “splash”, but they won’t make this move with Harvin coming back. WR is set if all goes according to their plans.

  41. He will end up on the Niners & it will be next Monday or Tuesday that it will happen. AFTER KC is 8-0, which turns the Alex Smith 3rd rounder into a 2nd rounder. It’ll be LaMichael James & a 2nd rounder for Gordon. If KC wants the pot sweetened it’ll be both of those 2nd rounders to go a long with LaMichael James.

    Basically if you like the Niners root for KC this weekend so that the deal can happen. Niners don’t need LaMichael James. They have plenty of depth at RB with Lattimore on the way next year as well. If the Niners get Gordon they’ll be even more loaded once Crabtree & Manningham are back.

  42. For u people running ur mouth about Brady stretching the field yes! He’s struggled but u would to if u can’t get any rythem passing the ball cause everybody dropping the ball…. He has played a timing passing game since 07″ an he hasn’t played straight play action since 06″ an the fact that he has to… Is throwing him off cause he’s having a hard time not running the “Route Clock” in his head cause there is no timing the WRs that r always late getting there an the fact their route running is so poor,so most of time they r not at the right spot!!! So actually know sports before thinking u know what ur talking about… Now to the question at hand I’d like the Pats trade for him only if Fitz,Nicks,or Sanders r not options…

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