With the Browns basically circling the drain on offense, there is a natural inclination for teams to look into the talented, though troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon. This is especially the case with the extended trade deadline and the fact that a number of teams feel they are legitimate contenders but have suffered injuries or are just looking for an added weapon to strengthen their case, even with his potential yearlong suspension if he fails another drug test..
The talk is there are three teams that have reached out to the Browns about Gordon and the Browns have turned down those offers at this point, according to Adam Schefter. It has been long reported and believed the Browns are demanding a second round pick. Either there is a bidding war or more likely, these teams are trying to offer the Browns a third round pick and something else, either another pick or a player. The Browns are content with their price. They should be.
For all the problems Gordon has had, he is an incredibly talented player and the Browns have set a price where they think the value of Gordon outweighs the risk. They made a similar move with Trent Richardson which looks to be outright theft to this point. The following are teams that could make sense as possible trade partners.
San Francisco 49ers – They have already called once, so it would hardly be a surprise if they did it again. The 49ers look at themselves as a contender and with injuries to Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham and the overwhelming flop of A.J. Jenkins, the 49ers have Anquan Boldin and little else at wide receiver. They have the ammo to do the deal and could take a player and make a serious push to get back to the Super Bowl with Gordon.
Indianapolis Colts – While it seems unlikely that general manager Ryan Grigson would be interested in rushing back to the table to deal with Mike Lombardi again, the loss of Reggie Wayne puts them in an incredibly difficult spot. He was their best receiver in basically every single important category and not having him creates a big hole. Gordon could give them a different type of weapon and Jim Irsay is nuts enough to make it happen. At that point, the Browns would own the Colts’ 1st, 2nd, and 4th round picks in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Detroit Lions – Calvin Johnson is a monster on one side, but the Lions are really hurting at the wide receiver position anywhere else. Reggie Bush has been a dynamic threat out of the backfield and the potential trio of Johnson, Bush, and Gordon could be incredibly difficult to stop, especially with Matthew Stafford able to put the ball anywhere on the field. The Lions have not been afraid to deal with character questions.
New York Jets – Everything about the Jets this season seems improbable, but they have found ways to win games. Geno Smith has had ups and downs, but he could definitely use more weapons and the Jets are in a situation where managing the cap is key. Gordon’s contract is next to nothing and when it comes up, they will be in a position to be able to sign him long term. Plus, Rex Ryan is coaching by the seat of his pants anyway.
There might be some other teams that could potentially enter the mix, but these seem like the most reasonable possibilities. A team like Seattle or New England could come out of nowhere but it does not seem likely at this point.
The Browns have been saying they are not trading Gordon in the past. This seemed more of a case of being able to say that because offers were too low to pry away Gordon. If the Browns come out and say that again, it is likely the same type of deal. The Browns seem to have a price set on Gordon and they are not willing to settle for less. They should not and if there are three teams bidding for his services, they are in a great position to make sure they get every last bit of value they want out of Gordon.