Josh Gordon was recently reinstated into the NFL, and reports surfaced Tuesday that teams are interested in trading for the talented, but embattled, wide receiver.
There’s two problems, however: The Cleveland Browns have no plans of shipping Gordon out of town and Gordon has no interest in leaving.
“I haven’t heard too much about it,” Gordon told ESPN’s Tony Grossi. “Cleveland is my team. That’s where I want to be, everything like that. That’s not even in the ballpark for me. I’m not sure how that works.”
Gordon will serve a four-game suspension to begin the 2016 season, then will finally make his return after sitting out the entire 2015 season while being suspended for another violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Gordon’s off-field transgressions are worrisome, and it would be tough for any team to have complete trust that he will stay on the straight and narrow. But a major reason why the Browns — and others — are willing to take that risk is Gordon’s undeniable value when he’s on the field.
Gordon caught 87 passes for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns during the 2013 season. It’s tough to assume Gordon will immediately return to that incredible form. But in a new system, with a potentially effective quarterback (Robert Griffin III) and a great offensive coach (Hue Jackson) calling the shots, Gordon has as good of a shot as ever to revitalize his career.
The Browns have held on to hope of Gordon’s return for this long. They might as well see it out to the end.