Josh Gordon hasn’t played for the Cleveland Browns since 2014, and some NFL teams are hoping that he never suits up for the Browns in 2016. A few clubs have reportedly inquired about the availability of the wide receiver.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, multiple teams have reached out to the Browns. Schefter did not name any specific teams, and a source tells him that Cleveland isn’t looking to trade the wide out.
In July, ESPN’s John Clayton told 97.5 The Fanatic that the Philadelphia Eagles might be interested in Gordon if he became available. The Eagles could certainly use an upgrade in their receiving corps, considering the group didn’t have a 1,000-yard receiver a season ago. Jordan Matthews led the team with 85 catches for 997 yards, and Riley Cooper had the second-most yards of any wide receiver with just 327.
When Gordon was last on the field, he was one of the NFL’s best players. He led the league with 1,646 receiving yards in 2013, but he only played five games the following season due to a suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He missed all of last season for the same reason, but he was reinstated last month.
Gordon will serve a four-game suspension to start the season, but when he returns in Week 5, he could very well go back to being one of the NFL’s top wide outs.
"He still looks the exact same and it's just crazy,'' Browns cornerback Joe Haden said, via Cleveland.com. "He looks a little bigger. I don't know how that happened, but he's still out there running around, looking the same, running his routes, floating. It still looks effortless.''
Because of his issues off the field, Cleveland might not be able to get much in return for Gordon. They are desperately in need of a top wide receiver, considering they haven’t had a wide out that reached the 1,000-yard mark since Gordon did it in 2013. Tight end Gary Barnidge was the team’s top pass-catcher in 2015, and Travis Benjamin led Cleveland receivers with 68 catches for 966 yards.
The Browns haven’t made the playoffs in 14 years, and they’ve finished with a record under .500 in each of the last eight seasons. Robert Griffin III enters 2016 as Cleveland’s starting quarterback, becoming the eighth different quarterback to start for the Browns since 2013.