There is absolutely no reason to be upset about the New England Patriots trading for Josh Gordon.
This is the NFL. Contracts don’t have to be guaranteed. Players can be cut at any time. And the Patriots’ transaction record is no exception to that rule.
Acquiring Gordon is literally the definition of “low-risk, high reward.” He’s one of the most talented wide receivers in football. He’s a physical specimen. And he’s only on the books for $697,058 this season, before becoming a restricted free agent in the offseason.
As everyone knows, Gordon comes with some issues. From substance abuse to alcohol problems, the 27-year-old has not been able to get clean and focus solely on his craft, which ultimately led to the Cleveland Browns saying, “Enough is enough.”
The Browns can claim that the last straw was Gordon showing up late to a team meeting with a random hamstring injury that he reportedly suffered during a non-team-related photo shoot just days before their Week 2 game in New Orleans, but let’s be real here, his hamstring was the least of their problems.
So they traded him to the Patriots on Monday afternoon, in exchange for a 2019 fifth-round draft pick. It should also be noted that New England will receive a 2019 seventh-round pick from Cleveland if Gordon is not active for 10 games.
Gordon was on the practice field in a Patriots uniform on Wednesday, wearing No. 10. His status for Sunday night’s game in Detroit is still unknown. But if you’re looking at this trade and thinking, “I can’t believe Bill Belichick would make a move like this,” then you’re either a ratings-hungry radio host or a complete moron.
The popular argument for not liking this trade is that the Patriots don’t need to deal with the drama that Gordon might provide if he acts up again. On one hand, I understand that type of concern.
No team should have to deal with unnecessary drama from a player who is getting paid to play a kid’s game. On the other hand, if drama ensues, the cleanup is easy. All you have to do is cut him.
The Patriots’ commitment to Gordon will only go as far as Gordon wants to be committed to the Patriots. It’s as simple as that. The minute he begins to become a distraction, you can bet your life savings that the breaking news headline will read: “The Patriots have released Josh Gordon.” And it will be over just like that.
You might even see that headline sooner rather than later. Who knows? The Patriots obviously hope they won’t have to kick him to the curb anytime soon. But let’s say they do, how would that negatively impact the rest of the season? Do you honestly think it would be such a major setback for the organization that it would prevent them from having the same level of success had they never even acquired him at all?
Get out of here with that garbage.
Gordon’s upside far outweighs any negative that the Patriots would even consider dealing with. If he doesn’t do his job, he’s gone. But if he subscribes to The Patriot Way, then the reward here — for both the player and the team — would be jackpot-level stuff.
Gordon can prove that he’s cleaned up his act and get paid in the offseason, while the Patriots can add a top-tier wideout that’ll be extremely helpful while Julian Edelman is suspended through Week 4.
I can’t tell you how or when Gordon’s time in New England will end. But I will tell you that it’s a trade the Patriots would’ve been crazy not to make.
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