Cleveland Browns: Josh Gordon should not be traded in 2016
The Cleveland Browns must give returning wide receiver Josh Gordon a chance to prove himself in 2016.
Josh Gordon has not yet taken part in a practice as a member of the Cleveland Browns since being reinstated, but talks of trading him seem to be coming out every day.
Some takes are from those who simply don’t trust him, while others see him as a valuable asset to trade in order acquire more draft picks as part of the ongoing rebuild.
But trading Gordon before he even gets a chance to get back on the field, as he is suspended for the first four games of the regular season, would not be a smart move.
The Browns have been dealing with Gordon missing playing time since the 2013 season, leading up to the full-season suspension last year. Now that he is back and only serving a four-game suspension, the team should at least give him a chance to play the entire year and see if he is still the same player he was during his record-setting 2013 season.
In 14 games in 2013, Gordon had 1,646 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, and became the first receiver in NFL history to have back-to-back 200 yard receiving games. That kind of talent is what the Browns are hoping to get in 2016, although it remains to be seen if that year was just an anomaly.
If Gordon looks bad in his first five or six games, a trade may be on the mind of some fans, but the trade deadline is the Tuesday after Week 8. That means Gordon will only play in four games before the deadline, which is not enough time to evaluate his entire potential.
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If there was no trade deadline it would be justified to begin shopping Gordon around toward the end of the season, but that is not the case. The early deadline, coupled with Gordon’s suspension, puts the Browns in a tough situation.
The team can either trade him during the first half of the season and risk missing out on a potentially great talent, or hold on to him and risk his value falling by the time the team has the ability to trade him next year.
The risk of his value falling is there, but Gordon is going to fetch a late-round draft pick in return as it stands right now, as no team is going to offer too much for a player who may be kicked out of the league for any misstep. The only way for his value to go up is if the Browns keep him and he has another great year.
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If he performs well in 2016, and stays out of trouble, the calls for Gordon to be traded will be justified, given the young receivers prove they can handle the responsibility of carrying the offense.