Josh Gordon is one of the most talented receivers in the NFL, and if the Cleveland Browns decide they’re done with him, would the Baltimore Ravens be interested?
There was a time when Josh Gordon was considered one of the 10 best wide receivers in football, and that time wasn’t exactly that long ago. Anyone with eyes can see that the guy is one of the most athletically gifted receivers in the entire league, and the only thing that’s held him back from total stardom is his own behavior.
In 2013, Gordon was suspended for the first two games of the season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. In 2014, Gordon was suspended for the entire season after violating the league’s substance abuse policy again, though that was ultimately shortened to 10 games after the league changed its drug policy. However, that didn’t stop Gordon from eventually being suspended for the final game of the 2014 season after violating team rules.
However, despite all of that, Gordon is eligible for (and has applied for) reinstatement at the start of the 2016 season, provided he doesn’t get caught with anymore drugs, drive drunk, or try to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia or something.
If he is reinstated, the Browns will be faced with a difficult decision. Is the value of Josh Gordon higher than the risk he poses to the organization? The team has shown on multiple occasions with Johnny Manziel that they’re not interested in dealing with off-the-field issues. Manziel has lost his starting job more than once because of his partying and different videos that have come out of him partying.
So if the Browns are already dealing with Johnny Manziel and his issues, would they also want to take on Josh Gordon’s issues as well? One argument would say that they’ve hung onto him this long, they’re committed. Another might say that new head coach Hue Jackson could be uninterested in dealing with Gordon and his issues. We don’t really know, but I would say that it wouldn’t be completely out of the question for the Browns to just wash their hands of Josh Gordon and release him.
Now, this is a big “what if?” I know, but if the Browns did release Josh Gordon, whether it’s now or in a year (he’s a RFA in 2017), would the Ravens go after him?
I have to say, I think they absolutely would; the Ravens have shown in the past that they’ll give chances to players with a shaky past, so why not Gordon? The talent is undeniable, and in case you’ve forgotten exactly how good Gordon is, take a look at these highlights from his 2013 season where he finished the year with 87 catches, 1646 yards, and nine touchdowns in only 14 games.
Now can you imagine a player like that on a team with Joe Flacco, one of the strongest arms in the NFL? Gordon, plus Kamar Aiken and Breshad Perriman (depending on how he turns out, I’m going off his potential right now) makes for a pretty impressive receiving corps.
Personally, I figure that if Gordon hasn’t gotten the idea that he should get his act together by now, he never will. He’s had three different suspensions, and that’s not including his suspensions in college, so if he hasn’t gotten the “wake up” message yet, then he’s a lost cause.
But that lost cause comes with a gigantic upside, because we’ve seen what he can do. And this isn’t based off of college highlights or scouting reports, it’s there, he’s done it at the NFL level before.
Gordon would likely come cheap as well, considering his checkered past, which means even if he’s a bust, he’s a cheap bust. But if he’s a success, he’s one of the best receivers in the league, and that’s definitely something the Ravens could use.