After five seasons and playing just 11 games, the Josh Gordon saga is over in Cleveland. The Browns have traded Gordon to the New England Patriots. The team had been patient with Gordon, whose battle with addiction has kept him sidelined for the bulk of his career.
WKSU commentator Terry Pluto explored why New England is taking a chance on the troubled athlete.
A Need for a Quarterback
Terry Pluto said the Patriots are in desperate need of a wide receiver and when Josh Gordon is on the field, he shows flashes of brilliance.
“The same talent, that caused the Browns to try to be patient and get Josh squared away, is why Bill Belichick in New England was willing to trade a fifth round pick for him,” Pluto said.
In 2013, Gordon tallied 1,646 yards, including back-to-back games of 200 yards receiving – an NFL record.
Taking a Gamble
Belichick has gambled with Browns players in the past including Cory Coleman – cut with the Gordon trade – Kenny Britt and Barkevious Mingo. All three players are no longer with the team.
“Belichick figures, maybe I could get Gordon here, straighten him out and he’ll be good again.”
However, Pluto said if Gordon can’t abide by Belichick’s strict regimen, the wide receiver will be cut.”
Hopes for the Future
While the Patriots hope to tap into Gordon's high ceiling, Pluto said the Browns are focused on the future. They have a young receiving core to develop and a proven Pro Bowler in Jarvis Landry.
“You know, you almost wanna say, ‘Let’s play ball with the guys who want to play ball here,’” Pluto said. “Let’s see what these guys can do.”
Pluto mentioned Gordon could be a great comeback story in New England, but must prove to his new team that he is committed to the game of football.